YEARS LOOKING FORWARD
WELCOME TO OUR CARIBBEAN HIDEOUT Picture dramatic panoramas, intimate bluffs and the tranquillity of an untrodden beach, and you have the perfect site for a custom home at Christophe Harbour. Along with the private Pavilion beach club and endless island adventures, enjoy the Caribbean’s first Park Hyatt hotel and the region’s finest superyacht marina, complete with famous Kittitian hospitality. This isn’t just any Caribbean community; this is Christophe Harbour.
CLASSIC CLASSICFUSION FUSION AEROFUSION AEROFUSIONMOONPHASE MOONPHASE KING KINGGOLD GOLD
Building #29#29 Unit #1 #1 Building Unit Port Zante · Basseterre, St.St. Kitts Port Zante · Basseterre, Kitts Tel:Tel: 1-869-465-4068 1-869-465-4068 www.kaysfinejewelry.com www.kaysfinejewelry.com
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CONTRIBUTORS MEET THE TEAM
Garry Steckles here, and my job at the Visitor is to edit the stories submitted by our talented contributing writers as well as contributing a few articles myself. As a keen cook, I’m particularly proud of our coverage of the constantly improving restaurant scene in St. Kitts and Nevis, and I’d urge you to read all our dining-out features. They’re an invaluable guide to the great food awaiting you in our twin-island paradise.
Cheryl, who has a house on Nevis, loves discovering interesting homes - and the people living in them. That’s why she enjoyed researching the article on hotel residences and the flip side of people choosing to go it alone. “I also loved writing the farm-to-table piece. It’s terrific seeing how many locals are now growing fresh produce for hotels, restaurants and markets.”
1,120,312 words, 9769 photos, 1579 ads 20 amazing years!
British-born Sarah is a roaming photojournalist and magazine designer, whose For 20 memorable years, the Visitor magazine has showcased work is regularly published the beauty and culture of our twin Islands. We hope you’ve in international titles such as enjoyed reading them as much as we’ve enjoyed creating them. Cosmopolitan, Emirates Open As Publisher I would like to congratulate and thank everyone Skies magazine and Stylist. A along this journey.This landmark Visitor is packed with self-proclaimed island-junkie something for everyone.And I am especially excited to who loves discovering new share my secret to transforming your health, in my cultures, she spent two weeks very first article.May this issue, inform, capturing the beauty of St empower and inspire you towards a Kitts and Nevis through her life-changing adventure. lens. ‘These islands were a joy to photograph, WENDY especially the colours I hope you’re enjoying at Caribelle Batik,’ reading this landmark issue of the Visitor as see our special much as I did selling advertising for it. I’m Wendy insert Steckles, and I’m happy to be a member of the talented team putting out what we believe is the finest tourism publication in the Caribbean. There’s so much good reading in this 20th anniversary edition of the magazine it’s difficult to recommend any one story …. so read them all! But I do particularly urge readers to learn about St. Kitts’ very special Music Festival on Page 120. 2 / Visitor Magazine 2017
A former award-winning TV documentary producer, Peter Swain writes regularly for the Sunday Times, Golf International, GQ, Business Traveller, Luxury Travel, MACO and American Express’s Centurion magazine where he’s Property Editor. He divides his time between London and Nevis, where he’s enjoyed the peace and quiet of an island home for the last four years. ‘The plantation inns on Nevis are quite unique – definitely worth a visit,’ see page 155
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Valid passports are essential. Visas are required for citizens of a number of nations, with just over 100 being visa-exempt, among them the UK and all EU countries, Australia, Canada, India, Japan and the United States. All visitors must have a return ticket. Cruise ship passengers staying here for less than 24 hours do not need a visa.
CREDIT CARDS All major hotels and the bigger restaurants and stores accept major cards. So do some smaller establishments, but the smaller the business the less likely they’ll take plastic.
Kittitians and Nevisians of all ages appreciate courtesy and manners. School children will often greet you with a polite ‘good morning’ or ‘good afternoon’ and a general acknowledgement of those around you is appropriate if you enter a waiting room.
LANGUAGE English, often spoken with a strong accent and the frequent use of local and regional idioms. But don’t worry, we’ll speak ‘standard’ English if you look baffled.
We’re well-served by international and regional flights. International carriers are American Airlines out of Miami, New York JFK and Charlotte, North Carolina; British Airways out of London Gatwick; Air Canada out of Toronto; United Airlines out of Newark, and Delta Air Lines out of Atlanta. We’re aso served by the island-hopping airlines LIAT and Winair, while Seaborne Airlines flies to St. Kitts and to Nevis from Puerto Rico and Cape Air flies to Nevis from Puerto Rico.
HISTORY We’re steeped
in it. St. Kitts and Nevis have been fought over by the Brits, the French and the Spanish, while some of history’s most unsavoury pirates once used these islands as home base. St. Kitts was the first Caribbean island to be colonised by England, in 1624, and was also one of the first to grow sugar cane, the industry that was to dominate the Caribbean for centuries. St. Kitts and Nevis were handed over entirely to the Brits at the Treaty of Paris in 1783. We gained full independence on September 19, 1983, becoming the smallest independent nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Ferries between St Kitts and Nevis are frequent and convenient. They operate mainly from the ferry landing in St Kitts, which is on the Bay Road near to the Port Zante shopping complex, and from the pier at Charlestown in Nevis. The exception is the Sea Bridge, a car ferry that shuttles between Major’s Bay at the tip of the Southeast Peninsula in St. Kitts and Cades Bay in Nevis. The Sea Bridge also caters to passengers without vehicles.
GETTING AROUND Rental cars are readily available and taxis are just about always on hand at the bigger hotels.
Volcanic, with mountainous interior regions and gentle, rolling coastal plains. Highest points are Mount Liamuiga at 3,792 feet in St. Kitts and Nevis Peak at 3,232 feet.
FAST FACTS Stuff you should know about St. Kitts and Nevis
POPULATION & SIZE
A little over 50,000, with about 80 per cent in St. Kitts. Size: St. Kitts is 69 square miles; Nevis, 36 square miles.
DRIVING The first thing you’re likely to
notice is that there don’t seem too be many traffic lights, even at our busiest intersections. That’s because there aren’t any. We’re the only nation with a seat in the United Nations and not a single traffic light. We also drive on the left-hand side of the road.
Well-nigh perfect year-round, but it can get a bit chilly at night in the winter months and it’s a good idea to bring a light sweater.
Water: Safe to drink. Rather better than safe, actually, our water’s excellent.Beer: Also excellent, although not necessarily safe, depending on theamount consumed. Rum: Ditto.
ST. KITTS TOURISM AUTHORITY Tel: 869-465-4040 • Email: email@example.com • www.stkittstourism.kn NEVIS TOURISM AUTHORITY Tel: 869-469-7550 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • www.nevisisland.com • ST. KITTS AND NEVIS HOTEL AND TOURISM ASSOCIATION • Tel: 869-465-5304 • Email: email@example.com • Web: www.stkittsnevishta.org
6 / Visitor Magazine 2017
John Hardy and Modern Chain Collection are Registered Trademarks.
COMING & GOING
We’re the Caribbean and we’re mainly casual, but that doesn’t mean swimwear or anything too revealing is appropriate in our towns and villages. We’re also conservative when it comes to topless on our beaches: it’s a no-no.
We’re part of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and use the Eastern Caribbean dollar, which is pegged to the US dollar at EC$2.6882 to US$1. US dollars are accepted just about everywhere on the island, while Euros, Canadian dollars and UK sterling can be changed for EC dollars at banks.
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CRUISE PIER CRUISE PIER BUILDING #29, UNIT BUILDING #29, UNIT 1 1 PORT ZANTE, BASSETERRE PORT ZANTE, BASSETERRE KITTS STST KITTS TEL: (1 869) 4068 TEL: (1 869) 465465 4068 WWW.KAYSFINEJEWELRY.COM WWW.KAYSFINEJEWELRY.COM
WELCOME H OT E L & TO U R I S M A S S O C I AT I O N
UNIQUE AS WE ARE
DEAR VISITOR, A very warm welcome to you! As the President of the Hotel and Tourism Association I want to thank you for following your heart to St. Kitts and Nevis. Whether you are looking for a soulful, romantic or adventurous vacation, our twin-island paradise is sure to leave you with lasting memories that would be permanently cemented in your heart forever. This year the St. Kitts and Nevis Visitor magazine celebrates its 20th publication, which means the magazine is celebrating 20 years of promoting our federation as a fast-growing tourism destination. The evolution of our paradise as the perfect escape for any traveler can be seen over the years with each publication of the magazine, which provides the reader and visitor with information of the mix of our islands’ intoxicating natural beauty, warm waters, the friendly people, our food and culture, combined with the many things to do that make St. Kitts and Nevis one of the prime destinations in the Caribbean. Our all-year round festivals like the St. Kitts Music Festival, Mango Festival, Latin Fiesta and Culturama, amongst others, ensure that there is something for everyone to enjoy during the entire year. Interested in staying longer? Don’t worry, the Visitor magazine also offers many luxurious real estate options that would be fitting for any perfect Caribbean escape.
“This year the St. Kitts and Nevis Visitor magazine celebrates its 20th publication” ~ During your visit, discover a different perspective by viewing the St. Kitts Visitor Channel on Channel 70, watch online at www.stkittsvisitorchannel.com or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/stkittsnevisvisitorchannel/ for more information. You can also visit www.stkittsnevismagazines.com for an online copy of the magazine to share with your friends and family. Take your pick of what to do while you’re here but whatever you do, whether for adventure or for leisure, make sure that you enjoy it to the fullest and hopefully we will see you again soon! Johan Kelly President St. Kiitts and Nevis Hotel and Tourism Association
10 / Visitor Magazine 2017
INTERNATIONAL CONCEPTS IC JEWELERS
Port Zante • Basseterre St.Kitts RLB Int’l Airport • 869.466.5853
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ST. KITTS KITTS MARRIOTT MARRIOTT RESORT RESORT ST. 858 ZENWAY ZENWAY BLVD. BLVD. 858 FRIGATE BAY BAY FRIGATE ST KITTS ST KITTS TEL: (1 (1 869) 869) 466 466 7106 7106 TEL: SKB@KAYSFINEJEWELRY.COM SKB@KAYSFINEJEWELRY.COM
CRUISE PIER PIER CRUISE BUILDING #29, #29, UNIT UNIT 11 BUILDING PORT ZANTE, ZANTE, BASSETERRE BASSETERRE PORT ST KITTS KITTS ST TEL: (1 (1 869) 869) 465 465 4068 4068 TEL: WWW.KAYSFINEJEWELRY.COM WWW.KAYSFINEJEWELRY.COM
Kitts Carnival february (Public Holiday) 1 St.Parade Kitts Carnival Last (Public Holiday) 2 St.LapAlexander Hamilton and Tea 11PartyBirthday (Nevis)
WELCOME ST KITTS & NEVIS
INTOXICATING NATURAL BEAUTY, sunny skies, warm waters and white sandy beaches combine to make St. Kitts one of the most seductive spots in the Caribbean. The sights and sounds of St. Kitts and Nevis are nothing short of lifechanging. However, only the surface of our twin-island state can be experienced through the pages of the Visitor magazine. I truly hope you will be enticed to leave no stone unturned and fill your heart and soul with new experiences on these islands of a thousand treasures. The federation is teeming with chattering Vervet monkeys, scurrying families of mongoose, roaming cows, goats and blackbellied sheep. You also can drive or hike through the Valley of Giants, zip-line over the rainforest or climb up to sit yourself in the cradle of Sofa Rock, once the very cap of a now dormant volcano. If that isn’t your fancy, you can tee off at one of the three championship golf courses at Kittitian Hill, the St. Kitts Marriott or at the Four Seasons
Resort in Nevis. You could hang out at one of our beautiful beaches like Cockleshell Bay or The Strip in St. Kitts, lounge on Pinney’s or boogie board at Oualie Beach in Nevis. The peaceful calm of St. Kitts suggests nothing of the extraordinary history of the island. The Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of historical, cultural and architectural significance. It stands today as one of the best-preserved fortifications in the Americas. You can also check out the rainbow of colour that is Caribelle Batik, all before taking a romantic train ride with the St. Kitts Scenic Railway through fields of wild sugar cane. May every fibre of your being become soaked in the beauty of our island nation and become a treasured memory long after you have left our shores. Lindsay Grant Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce.
“At only two miles apart, we are unique in the world, offering our visitors an opportunity to stay on one island and play on the other” ~ 14 / Visitor Magazine 2017
Mark Brantley Minister of Tourism, Nevis
15th Annual Bente Weber Memorial Nevis to St. Kitts Cross-Channel Swim
1-29 january 4-11
Nevis History And Heritage Month St. Kitts-Nevis Admiral’s Cup Pro-Am Golf Tournament
Aquatic Sports at the Bay Front, Basseterre SpiceFest, Spice Mill Restaurant, Cockleshell Beach
21st Annual St. Kitts Music Festival White Sands Music Festival Cool Down Party, Carambola Beach Club
Eighth Annual Latin Fiesta
july WELCOME TO OUR BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY. St. Kitts and Nevis are the Yin and Yang of the Caribbean, offering something for every visitor. At only two miles apart, we are unique in the world, offering our visitors an opportunity to stay on one island and play on the other. Our hospitality is world renowned, our accommodation luxurious, our cuisine world class, our activities varied and numerous. Whether you choose to follow your heart to St. Kitts or experience Nevis Naturally, we welcome you to enjoy our destination and be reminded of how the Caribbean used to be. Enjoy your trip and come back soon with friends and family. We look forward to becoming your home away from home.
• Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 Cricket Tournament • Nevis Mango Festival • St. Kitts-Nevis Restaurant Week • July 21-August 2. Nevis Culturama
Fourth Annual Nevis Full Marathon Nevis International Triathlon
december • St. Kitts National Carnival St. Kitts Carnival Queen Pageant St. Kitts Carnival Senior Calypso Show St. Kitts Carnival International Artists Night Children’s Carnival Street Parade
26 26 26 31 november
Visitor Magazine 2017 / 15
CONTENTS 20 Experts share know-how
36 Getting hitched in paradise
74 Our Amazing Grace links
24 Letâ€™s go shopping
40â€“57 Real estate
75 Spotlight on Hamilton
30 Luxurious landings
61 Cricket on the move
79 Where the action is
69 History lessons
96 Underwater adventure
A tale of two capitals
16 / Visitor Magazine 2017
SING YOUR OWN SONG
WITH A DIGICEL CALL, TEXT OR DATA PLAN
Dial *141# to activate
Dejour Dejour Alexander Digicel Brand Ambassador
110 98 Our best beaches
108 Keeping healthy
122 The festival scene
100 Visitor magazine turns 20
110 Green acres
126 Live and lively
104 Portraits of our culture
115 Artists on show
132-149 Dining out
106 Smiles all round
120 A musical landmark
150-159 Where to stay
18 / Visitor Magazine 2017
LOCAL E XPERTS
LOCAL E XPERTS
OWNER, SUNSHINES BEACH BAR AND GRILL, PINNEY’S BEACH, NEVIS
MAKING THE MOST OF PARADISE Nobody knows our islands better than the people who run businesses here. We asked four of them to tell us about a few of their favourite things
140 / Visitor Magazine 2016
Q. Where is the best place to see the stars? A. Pinney’s Beach Where is the most romantic place for a date? On a yacht anchored off Pinney’s Beach What’s your favourite spot for a day out with your family? Playing golf or tennis with my son at Four Seasons What makes St. Kitts and Nevis unique? The people. We welcome visitors with a heartfelt smile and open, honest integrity What’s your favourite festival? The Blues Festival, Oualie Beach, Nevis What is your favourite local dining spot? El Fredo’s in St. Kitts What is your favourite water sport activity? Swimming in the beautiful, sparkling Caribbean Sea What should every visitor experience? A Killer Bee at Sunshines Why should a tourist visit your establishment? Come to Sunshines and experience the best in local cuisine, warmth and hospitality
OWNER, THE HERMITAGE PLANTATION INN, NEVIS
Q. Where is the best place to see the stars? A. On the beach near Four Seasons Mangos restaurant or at Indian Castle on the beach Where is the most romantic place for a date? Candlelight dining at The Hermitage or Four Seasons Mangos restaurant on the water’s edge What’s your favourite spot for a day out with your family? On Pinney’s Beach at Yachtsman Grill, or a barbeque on Windward Beach if it’s calm What makes St. Kitts and Nevis unique? St. Kitts is unique for its beauty, hospitable people, night scene; Nevis for friendly people, charming towns and villages, pride in history What’s your favourite festival? We enjoy the local horse racing and occasional events celebrating acoustical music. What is your favourite local dining spot? The Hermitage What is your favourite water sport activity? Sailing What should every visitor experience? The Museum of Nevis History, Bath Hotel, St John-Figtree Church, Cottle Church and the small hotels Why should a tourist visit your establishment? To experience Hermitage’s historical and architectural uniqueness with a 360-year-old wooden house offering great food and ambience
OWNER, IC JEWELERS AND TI AMO GELATO CAFÉ, PORT ZANTE, ST. KITTS
Q. Where is the best place to see the stars? A. On the Southeast Peninsula where you see both the Atlantic and the Caribbean seas right
next to each other Where is the most romantic place for a date? SALT Plage offers an amazing seaside setting with memorable sunsets made all the better with cocktails What’s your favourite spot for a day out with your family? Nothing beats a fun day at the beach with plenty of sun and the sand between your toes What makes St. Kitts and Nevis unique? Unspoiled natural beauty, rain forests, sunny skies, warm waters, dormant volcanoes and friendly people What’s your favourite festival? I love the Music Festival because it brings the whole island alive with a Carnival-like atmosphere What is your favourite local dining spot? Ti Amo for locally made yummy gelato and freshest sandwiches on the island What is your favourite water sport activity? A day out on a catamaran and snorkeling is a wonderful way to enjoy our beautiful waters What should every visitor experience? Rain forest-volcano hike. Mount Liamuiga is one of the highest peaks in the entire Caribbean! The 360-degree view of the entire island from the top is breathtaking Why should a tourist visit your establishment? Some of the most popular and exciting brands in the world, backed up by friendly staff devoted to customer satisfaction
Verral Washington Marshall OWNER, MARSHALL’S RESTAURANT, FRIGATE BAY, ST. KITTS
Q. Where is the best place to see the stars? A. Timothy Hill Where is the most romantic place for a date? Marshall’s A New World of Dining What’s your favourite spot for a day out with your family? Swimming in the pool What makes St. Kitts and Nevis unique? The people What’s your favourite festival? Carnival What is your favourite local dining spot? Marshall’s A New World of Dining What is your favourite water sport activity? Leisurely swimming What should every visitor experience? Food and culture Why should a tourist visit your establishment? V Come to Marshall’s to experience a New World of Dining ● Visitor Magazine 2017 / 21
2017 2017 Produced for the St. Kitts & Nevis Hotel & Tourism Association by Brisbane Publishing #2 Princes Street, Basseterre, St Kitts Tel: 869-465-0706 www.stkittsnevismagazines.com PUBLISHER Salisha Khan firstname.lastname@example.org MANAGING EDITOR Garry Steckles
MANAGER OF ADVERTISING AND SALES Wendy Steckles email@example.com PRODUCTION MANAGER, SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERT Junika Berry CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER Sarah Freeman CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Tina Papies www.scenekittsphotography.com George Bolus firstname.lastname@example.org Stephen Smith www.bluetorchproductions.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Cameron Gill, Salisha Khan, Cheryl Markosky, Renee Petrillo, Garry Steckles, Marianka Swain, Peter Swain
The publisher reserves the right to accept or reject any advertising or editorial material. The publisher assumes no responsibility for returning unsolicited manuscripts, art or photography. No part of this magazine may be reprinted or reproduced without written permission of the publisher.
FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK www.facebook.com/stkittsnevisvisitor PINTEREST www.pinterest.com/TheVisitorMag INSTAGRAM SITE stkittsnevismagazines 22 / Visitor Magazine 2017
Â©2017 St. Kitts & Nevis Hotel & Tourism Association Copies of the 2017 issue are available from the publisher at the above address. The magazine is available as a PDF at www.stkittsnevismagazines.com
Please Drink Responsibly. 36% Alc/Vol (72 Proof), Imported by Brinley & Co. Manhasset, NY
DESIGNER Sarah Freeman email@example.com
Made on St. Kitts! Distributed by O.D. Brisbane & Son(Trading) Ltd., Tel. 869-465-2330
SHOPPING ZESTY FOR HIM Tommy Bahama ST. KITTS MEN. Refreshing and relaxing at its core, a zesty blend of Kaffir Lime, juicy Mandarin and tropical Star Fruit paired with Cedarwood, fresh Sea Salt and a Watery Accord, create an invigorating woody scent reminiscent of the sea breeze. The fragrance is rounded out with Driftwood, Ambergris and creamy Musk adding a salt swept warming effect like suntanned skin after a day in the sun. Available at Dufry, Phone: (869) 465-1180
FIT FOR A QUEEN
A CLASSY WATCH Diamond International Male Piece Bvlgari Lucea Watch 33mm steel case with 18-ct pink gold bezel. 18-ct pink Gold crown set with a pink cabochoncut stone and diamond. Black opaline dial with a guilloche’ soleil treatment and gold plated index. Available at Diamonds International, Phone: (869) 465-0005
Exclusive and elegant gifts for him
Swarovski Power Rock Silver Evening Bag. Feel like a red-carpet star with this refined, handheld evening bag. Beautifully crafted in Comet Argent Light Crystal Rock, it brings a touch of glamour to your outfit. It comes with a 120cm removable snake chain handle. Available at IC Jewelers, Port Zante. Phone (869) 466-5853
FREE DELIGHTS and for her are part of the world-class St. Kitts shopping experience
UNIQUE ALARM Citizen Calibre 8700. Old world inspiration meets new world technology in this classy Calibre 8700 with alarm unlike any other. This two-toned stainless steel timepiece is loaded with features including dual time, 12/24-hour time and month/day/date and it is powered by any kind of light so you never need to change the battery. Available at IC Jewelers, Port Zante. Phone (869) 466-5853
MASCULINE DIAMONDS Men’s blue and white diamond bracelet. This men’s bracelet has round Brilliant cut blue diamonds 2.20cts and White diamonds 2.05cts set in 14 KT white gold. Available at Kay’s Fine Jewelry, Port Zante (869) 465- 4068
24 / Visitor Magazine 2017
Queen’s Ring. This ring has Exquisite Natural Fancy Yellow diamond 7.59 cts and White diamonds 2.32 cts set in 18 KT white gold. Available at Kay’s Fine Jewelry, Port Zante (869) 465- 4068
DAZZLING CROWN Crown of Light- That’s Beautiful The Crown of light Diamond Cut marks the turning point in diamond evolution. Masterfully hand crafted, each Crown of light Diamond’s 90 facets is measured with precision and cut by a small group of elite diamond cutters. Each Crown of Light Diamond is conflict free and ethically sourced. Available at Diamonds International, Phone: (869) 465-0005
t. Kitts’ Port Zante is a duty-free mecca for him and for her. Seconds after stepping off your cruise ship, you’ll find yourself in a shoppers’ wonderland with a dazzling array of diamonds, rum, cigars, perfume, clothes, accessories and more to choose from. Kay’s Fine Jewelry, Diamonds International, IC Jewelers and Dufry are the cream of the duty-free crop for discerning shoppers and all are featured here. And the hisand-her treasures St. Kitts and Nevis have to offer extend beyond Port Zante. For more exquisite creations, look no further than Caribelle Batik and the Marriott Resort in St. Kitts and the Four Seasons Resort in Nevis.
T THAT REAT SOME SPECIAL THAT ONE TO SOMESPECIAL THING
INSPIRED FOR HER This captivating and stunning fragrance opens with a tropical cocktail of juicy Pear, mouth-watering Mango and fresh Starfruit combined with a sweet bouquet of Frangipani, Plumeria and Freesia adding breezy floralcy. A dry, yet creamy Musk, salty Driftwood and a touch of Vanilla Bean envelop the fragrance providing a solar warmth reminiscent of the beach before sundown. It was inspired by a beautiful sunset on St. Kitts beaches, with the smell of a fruity cocktail and plumeria blossoms floating in the air, said Richard Herpin, Perfumer of Tommy Bahama ST. KITTS WOMEN. Available at Dufry, Phone: (869) 465- 1180 Visitor Magazine 2017 / 25
AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY AT DUFRY SHOPS IN ST. KITTS Port Zante, Basseterre St. Kitts RLB International Airport, Basseterre, St. Kitts
Tel: +1869 465 1180
Mention this ad and get US $5 OFF your Tommy Bahama fragrance purchase.
8/11/16 11:01 AM
SHOP TILL YOU DROP Inject some tropical vibes into your home and wardrobe with these island goodies
7.25"x4.75"_TB_ST KITTS_Half Page AD.indd 1
A piece of hand-thrown pottery by Kittitian Carla Astaphan makes a distinctive gift for a loved one – if you can bear to part with it. A vase with a tropical design will brighten up any corner. US$45, The Potter’s House, 869-662-5545, Facebook: @thepottershousestkitts
Pamper yourself with Winnielle Pereira’s luxe hair and skin products from her Itiba (‘Mother Nature’) line. Try natural tropical blends, such as mango, papaya, tea tree,
nutmeg or lavender. From EC$25, Winnielle, Fort Street, Basseterre, 869-665-5078, Facebook: ItibaLLC
Glassy-eyed is given a new meaning at Glass Island, with glassware that’s both practical and beautiful. A fruit bowl is the ideal receptacle for exotic mangos, pineapple and bananas. US$120, Glass Island Design, 869-466-6771
For sandy shores, a wander round town
or hitting the dance floor, Joan Hamilton’s handcrafted leather sandals are multi-coloured and multifaceted. EC$220, Joan’s Design Leather Craft, 869-4669962 or 765-2549, Facebook: Joan’s Design
Be the proud owner of the perfect bag to cart round your belongings in style. The Craft House’s suede ‘Tussle’ drawstring bag comes in a variety of shades – think red, gold, yellow, green and pink. EC$45, Craft House, 869-465-7754, www.stkittscrafthouse.com Visitor Magazine 2017 / 27
6 9 “What a catch. Individually handcrafted wooden fish carved from driftwood off the beach”
. . . s a n a n a Totally Butique Bo 10
What a catch. Individually handcrafted wooden fish carved from driftwood off the beach by local artist Tom Deveaux. From US$10, Arthouse gift shop at Hermitage Plantation Inn, 869-469-3477; and Lime in the Coconut at Lime Beach Bar, Pinney’s Beach, Nevis, 869-765-3948, Facebook: @Lime in the Coconut
The taste of the Caribbean in a bottle, rum is always a welcome present. You can find a tempting range of Appleton’s fine rums.
28 / Visitor Magazine 2017
From US$10 Rams Supermarket, Charlestown, Nevis 869-469 -7777
Get the tropical vibe with bright exotic flowers and palm frond prints. Relaxed men’s shorts and striking women’s sundresses are de rigueur at the seashore. From US$120, Four Seasons featuring Tommy Bahama, Nevis, 869-469-2345
Throw it on over a swimming cossie or dress it up for sundowners. A soft cotton
pastel-coloured tunic top by Rock Flower Paper is a must in the West Indies. US$43, Out of the Blue, SEASIDE at Cliffdwellers, Nevis, 869-469-1093
Covetable jewellery makes souvenir hunting easy. Locally made, semi-precious stones from Jaipur and antique Chinese pieces, there’s something at Bananas to suit every rock chick. From US$15, Bananas Bistro & Art Gallery, Hamilton Estate, Nevis, 869-469-1891, V www.bananasrestaurantnevis.com ●
Equally at home in the back streets of Jaipur and the secret alleyways of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Gillian has filled this “Aladdin’s Cave” with the Ethnic and the Unusual.. Semi precious stones, Moroccan Baskets and Kaftans, Greek Sandals and Silver…Afghani Tribal Pieces.. curated with flair.! ! Original Caribbean Art work is displayed in our restaurant….round off your shopping visit with a delicious lunch or Sunset Cocktails on our roof top lounge…! ! The boutique keeps the same opening hours as the restaurant…
we accept Visa and master card and ship world wide. !
Christophe Harbour’s mega-yacht marina
FIRST CL ASS ARRIVALS can be seen, before arriving in the ‘living room’ where they are personally welcomed by GM Julian Moore or one of his senior management team. After a refreshing beverage, guests are then escorted to their room or suite. Practically next door, Christophe Harbour is laying on a jet-to-yacht service enabling owners, charter guests and crews to fly in, transit through the YU Lounge and reach the Caribbean’s newest superyacht marina community in seamless style.
“On board they can enjoy their first rum punch or fruit cocktail of the trip”
First impressions are important, and when savvy travelers land at Robert L. Bradshaw airport in St. Kitts or Vance W. Amory on Nevis they can be assured that an exceptional arrival experience awaits BY PETER SWAIN
he lavish YU Lounge private terminal has been operating successfully for several years in St. Kitts, so whether arriving by private charter or commercial airline, passengers can now enjoy amenities more usually associated with first-class lounges in the world’s major airports. It works like this: passengers are met on the tarmac by one of a fleet of Porsche Cayennes and transferred straight to the lounge. While they enjoy a quiet glass of champagne and choice of canapés, staff in the lounge deal with all customs and immigration formalities and collect the baggage; there’s no standing in line, security is discreet, and service personalised. Full internet and secretarial services are available, as well as private meeting rooms, together with gourmet catering. Independent travelers can book to use the service whenever they want, and several of the federation’s leading hotels are now on board as well. “Our guests can begin an
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This destination is constantly growing with new villas, bars and restaurants appearing every year. The centrepiece of the enterprise, an established dock with 24 full-service slips capable of accommodating 250-foot superyachts, will see the opening of the Customs House in 2017. This first part of the Marina Village will deliver customs offices for yachting guests, marina services, a
Refreshments at YU Lounge private terminal
fitness centre and crew lounge, making it an unrivalled point of entry for visiting sailors. The ultra-chic beachside bar, SALT Plage, also has a small tender dock making it an alternative point of first-class disembarkation. Nevis airport is rather smaller than its Kitittian neighbour, but makes up for it with speed and friendliness – passengers can expect to be on the road within 15 minutes
of landing. The runway is too short for large commercial jets, though a number of smaller airlines offer both scheduled and charter flight to nearby islands. For instance, Tradewind fly daily in high season to St. Barths and San Juan, with Omel Wilkin and her team providing the sort of friendly personal service that makes travelling in the V region so enjoyable. ●
YU Lounge is a state of art Private terminal, encompassing a
Luxury Lounge designed for discerning passengers travelling on Commercial airliners and Private jets. Your Check-in, Immigration and baggage procedures will be taken care of, while you bask in the serenity of the YU Lounge and enjoy our Exclusive service.
Four Seasons’ luxury launch
extraordinary experience as soon as they step off the plane,” says Ed Gannon, general manager of the Four Seasons on Nevis. “Using the YU Lounge, they can enjoy personalised service and unprecedented convenience from the jetway to the fairways.” Once through the lounge, guests take a short drive to Port Zante where they board the Four Seasons launch for the 40-minute crossing to the resort’s private dock on Nevis. On board they can enjoy their first rum punch or fruit cocktail of the trip, so arrive suitably relaxed. Park Hyatt guests who choose to use the YU Lounge will be met by one of the hotel team before they’re whisked by road to the Southeast Peninsula, where the exclusive new resort is situated on scenic Banana Bay just across the Narrows from Nevis. Once there, they enter through the ‘welcome walk’, passing a reflection pool on their way and a beautifully framed open window through which the colours of the Caribbean
YU Lounge St Kitts RLB International Airport PO Box 2516 Federation of St Kitts & Nevis
+ 1 (869) 465 0192
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BY GARRY STECKLES
Basseterre and Charlestown are architectural gems with a difference
ith a combined land mass of 105 square miles, a total population of about 50,000 and not so much as a single traffic light, you’d think one capital would be enough for the twin-island federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. But no, we’ve got two ... and they’re both quite delightful. Basseterre and Charlestown, in fact, are both candidates for recognition as the most beautiful capital in the Caribbean, and despite their shared history they’re distinctly different when it comes to ambiance and architecture. Basseterre is the bigger and busier of the two, which is hardly surprising as St. Kitts is home to something like 80 per cent of the aforementioned 50,000. Its streets are generally lively and bustling on weekdays from early morning to late afternoon, but quickly quieten down when evening descends. Except on Fridays, that is; that’s when the evening action is lively, the ‘liming’ hangouts do brisk business and the sweet sounds of soca and reggae permeate the night air. Charlestown tends to be somewhat more sedate, although things also liven up considerably on Fridays after the shops and offices close.
LIVE MUSIC Charlestown offers tranquility and elegant architecture, much of it Georgian
Architecturally, both capitals offer an abundance of classic buildings and some supremely elegant streets and charming alleyways. Many of central Charlestown’s historic buildings are elegant Georgian structures. Basseterre tends to be more a mix of Caribbean colonial, with a number of classic buildings featuring a stone base and timber top. Among just a few of Basseterre’s most outstanding buildings are the Georgian House on South Independence Square, a classic example of Georgian architecture, the Treasury Building, a magnificent domed landmark on the Bay Road at the foot of Fort Street, and the Gallery Cafe – also home of Art on the Square – with its stone base, timber top, large gallery and intimate yard. It’s on North Independence Square. Basseterre streets well worth exploring for a variety of architectural treasures include Liverpool Row, Rosemary Lane, College Street Ghaut and Princes Street – home of the magazine you’re reading. Charlestown is equally entrancing architecturally. Strolling along its meandering main road and up and down its quaint and quirky alleys and side streets, it’s hard to believe you’re in a town that has been devastated by earthquakes, ravaged by fire, pounded by hurricanes, looted and burned by an invading army and debilitated by the decline – and eventual demise – of the sugar industry. The graceful, symmetrical and understated Georgian architecture that is one of Charlestown’s major attractions is believed
“Charlestown was again ravaged by a huge fire and series of earthquakes in the mid-1800s and again rebuilt”
to have made its appearance during the first half of the 1700s, when the town was rebuilt after a major earthquake. Charlestown was again ravaged by a huge fire and series of earthquakes in the mid-1800s and again rebuilt, with architects leaning heavily on the Georgian style that had been introduced by their predecessors. Among the gracious buildings that today lend immeasurable character and charm to Charlestown are Longstone House, the Courthouse, Main Street Supermarket, the Henville family residence, the Methodist Church, St. Paul’s Anglican Church and the V Treasury. ● Visitor Magazine 2017 / 35
Tying the knot in Nevis at Montpelier Plantation and Beach
of worship. But now, a number of brides and grooms want to be united in unique places – by a waterfall, on a mountaintop, or a romantic tropical beach,” she points out. Two favourite thinking-out-of-the-box spots on St. Kitts are Brimstone Hill Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and historic Romney Manor. As well as more bespoke and out-of-theway venues, the dress code has drastically shifted, too, says Leonora Didder, wedding coordinator at Nevis’s Nisbet Plantation Beach Club (www.nisbetplantation.com). Black tie for grooms and heavily layered lace gowns for brides have given way to more minimalist apparel. “A bride goes to a store, sees a nice dress and says, ‘That’s what I’ll wear’, and footwear is mainly sandals.” Food has moved on as well. Even though lobster and locally hooked fish has always been wellliked, Leonora notes that sauces – such as Nisbet’s renowned lime and butter accompaniment – have become more ambitious over the years. “We also cater specially for those with dietary restrictions,” a practice that’s become more commonplace in the 21st century. Escaping to a paradise island to get hitched is certainly growing in popularity. A big plus is that the bride’s and groom’s families spend a good deal of time together, getting to know one another under hassle-free conditions, according to Derek Huggins, Nisbet’s new rooms division manager. “Some are here for five or more days,” he observes. “We arrange various activities, including taking the entire party out on a catamaran, hiking, diving, snorkeling and cycling. Everyone gets to enjoy a holiday along with the wedding partying.”
“The Ludwigs kept their wedding simple with much occurring on the day totally spur of the moment”
AS TIME GOES BY
Cheryl Markosky looks at how island weddings have become more casual over the years
ast April, Carole Ludwig and her civil engineer partner Lou decided to elope. “We’re both beach babies, so we wanted to get married by the sea,” says Carole, who works in recruitment in the mental health sector in New York. The couple’s instantaneous decision ruled out a number of places where you need to be resident for 30 days before you can tie the knot. Luckily, the lovebirds discovered the pretty island of Nevis – where there are no residency requirements prior to being joined in wedlock. Carole, 34, came across Nevis’s Montpelier Plantation and Beach (www.montpeliernevis. com) on Google, made a booking and leapt on a plane with her intended. 36 / Visitor Magazine 2017
“Everything was very easy. We filled out an application form and showed identification to a Justice of the Peace in Charlestown. Our photographer and Montpelier’s brilliant wedding planner, Abi Abiola, were witnesses,” she says. The Ludwigs kept their wedding simple with much occurring on the day totally spur of the moment. A local hairdresser did Carole’s hair, tropical flowers appeared, the ceremony took place in Montpelier’s gardens overlooking the sea at sunset, photographs were shot at Lovers’ Beach and the wedding meal consisted of a tasting menu in Montpelier’s Mill Privée, a 300-year-old sugar mill converted into a unique restaurant. “I have zero regrets,” declares the new bride.
“It was so stress-free. When we exchanged vows I started laughing hysterically, as donkeys were braying in the background and monkeys flew through the trees. Our wedding had a beautiful, intimate feel.” Carole and Lou’s down-to-earth wedding is typical of many nuptial celebrations on St. Kitts and Nevis these days. Although some twosomes still opt for grander and more formal events, most prefer less stuffy, sandytoed affairs in tune with the friendly, chillin’ Caribbean way of life. Cassandra Bascomb, acting manager of Dreamy Weddings and Tours Inc (www. dreamyweddings.com) has witnessed many changes over the years. “Once weddings were envisaged in places
Celia Gaskell helped run Montpelier with hotel owner husband James from her arrival on Nevis in 1981 until 2002. She recalls earlier weddings as fairly straightforward affairs with “people desiring them to be as lively, or not, as they wanted. Back then there weren’t wonderful honeymoon dinners and breakfast in bed like there are today. I’m sure we didn’t get things right every time, but bridal couples were terribly sweet about it.” She remembers one preacher reciting the rather evocative Song of Solomon at one wedding with rather straitlaced guests in attendance. “He read it in a very suggestive fashion, while the visitors fidgeted.” Cakes – always a mainstay of island ceremonies – have caused less uproar over the years. Celia Gaskell says Montpelier always made a wedding cake, and “depending on the pastry chef, some were extremely fanciful, while others were festooned in a garland of flowers to make up for the runny icing”. Cassandra Bascomb believes that wedding cakes have gone the way of wedding attire – “they’re understated and less lavish”. Also, people ask for cupcake towers, candyfloss stations and even stacks of pancakes at wedding brunches, instead of classic fruitcake. In addition, the arrival of the Internet has greatly modified communications. “A growing number don’t post invitations any longer; they forward web notifications or e-invites, and create unique wedding hashtags,” adds Bascomb. Moreover, brides and grooms are finding it easier to locate St. Kitts and Nevis as dream wedding destinations on the Internet – a V welcome advance for everyone. ●
Tales from the Altar “During the 1990s, one gentleman had planned an entire wedding as a surprise for his girlfriend, Denise. He’d secretly shipped in a dress, the rings and family. The tour representative met the couple the day after they flew in, welcoming Denise with the words, ‘I hope you have a great wedding.’ She proposed for the groom-tobe, and was instantly mortified when she realised what she’d done. Happily, Denise said yes, and the wedding went ahead.”
“A couple in their 70s, who were once childhood sweethearts, announced the day after their arrival they wanted to get married. The bride insisted all the hotel guests attend the ceremony – 20 of them and Lucy, the hotel dog, came along. The wedding party spilled over into the Thursday night barbecue that evening and a good time was had by all.” Tim Thuell, general manager, Nisbet Plantation Beach Club
“One of my favourite weddings was one conducted by a preacher with a very sleepy and peaceful voice. He was trundling along with the vows, and at the end of the groom James’s vows, he announced, ‘And that’s it for James.’ The slightly mesmerised groom repeated, ‘And that’s it for James’.”
“I remember a spectacular re-enactment of Fanny Nisbet and Horatio Nelson’s wedding in 1987. Everyone was in period costume and the acting bride and groom married at four o’clock under the fig tree in the ruins of the Great House – the spot where Fanny and Nelson originally married 200 years earlier.” Celia Gaskell, Montpelier Plantation & Beach
on Cockleshell Beach, one of the most romantic settings on St. Kitts. Accommodating from two to 200, Roger Brisbane and his team can arrange everything – decorations, flowers, entertainment and transport – for sophisticated beach weddings. Renowned for tailoring celebrations to all tastes and budgets – “no two weddings are ever the same,” says Spice Mill’s wedding planner Salisha Khan – you can enjoy a simple shorefront ceremony and barbecue serving up freshly caught mahi mahi and lobster, or opt for a fancier repast in the dining area. www.spicemillrestaurant.com V (869-765-6706) ● A wedding on the beach at Spice Mill
BLISSFUL SPOTS FOR TYING KNOTS
Cheryl Markosky discovers perfect places to get hitched on St. Kitts CARAMBOLA BEACH CLUB
Morning, afternoon or when the sun starts to dip into the sea – any time’s a great time to get married at Carambola Beach Club on South Friar’s Beach on St. Kitts’ Southeast Peninsula. The venue is renowned for hosting big events, and the experienced and efficient staff can engineer the ideal, palm-fringed seaside ceremony, followed by a fine meal in the plush dining area.
Menu choice is wide, offering both international and Caribbean fare: local lobster, beef tenderloin, sushi – a specialty of the house – and Carambola’s glorious signature Chocolate Marquisse dessert. www.carambolabeachclub.com (869-465-9090)
SPICE MILL RESTAURANT
To kick off their new spicy life, brides and grooms to-be head for Spice Mill Restaurant
Weddings then and Now THEN ♥ More elaborate wedding gowns for brides and tuxedos for grooms ♥ Traditional tiered wedding cakes with elaborate decorations ♥ Parents in control when it came to invites and wedding arrangements ♥ Set religious wedding vows, with very few options ♥ Wedding celebrations held at large hotels
Getting hitched hitched at at Ottley’ Ottley’ss isis aa breeze breeze Getting
38 / Visitor Magazine 2017
♥ Simple and light wedding attire with sandals – or even barefoot for seashore nuptials ♥ Cupcake towers and novelties like candyfloss stations replacing old-school wedding cakes ♥ The bride and groom organising their own tropical wedding – or even eloping ♥ Vows recited by the bridal couple, with their friends officiating ♥ Wedding beach barbecues instead of over-the-top sit-down formal dining
Elegant master bedroom at a Christophe Harbour residence
RE AL ESTATE
Opposite left to right: Kittitian Hill is lush and luxurious An inviting pool at Four Seasons
HOTEL CARIBBEAN TO THE
The trend for homes linked to hotels is catching on in St. Kitts and Nevis, reports Cheryl Markosky
Visitor Magazine 2017 / 41
RE AL ESTATE
Spacious and gracious accommodation will define the new Park Hyatt
The Park Hyatt opens in March and the spa, yoga lawn, three restaurants and kids’ club will be added to the mix” Christophe Harbour’s sumptuous villas are changing the face of St. Kitts’ Southeast Peninsula
42 / Visitor Magazine 2017
aroness Thatcher lived out her final months at The Ritz, Peter Sellers made the Dorchester Hotel his London home for decades and Richard Harris graced The Savoy for 15 years. When he was finally carried out dying on a stretcher, he announced: “It was the food.” Coco Chanel set up home in Paris at The Ritz, Marlene Dietrich favoured the Hotel Lancaster and Salvador Dali asked room service at Le Meurice to bring him a flock of sheep, which he shot at with a pistol firing blanks. Many of the world’s top hotels have housed the rich, famous – and sometimes downright unconventional. You don’t have to be an eccentric celebrity, however, to enjoy life poolside at a leading Caribbean resort. These days, a number of purchasers from across the board are choosing hotelassociated condos or villas on St. Kitts and Nevis with all the facilities of a leading hostelry but the privacy and familiarity of a home. Residents at Christophe Harbour (www.
costs US$1.795 million and finished, one-off villas are US$6 million plus. A worry-free lifestyle where everything’s working and clean upon arrival is a priority for buyers embracing a hotel-chic way of life, points out Helene Robic of Nevis Style Realty (www.nevisstylerealty.com), who’s sold several homes at the Four Seasons Resort Estates. “There are no concerns about hurricane season, as the staff will pack away your furniture and shut up your house if there’s a storm warning,” she notes. Two of Four Seasons’ biggest selling points are its established golf course and its brand
recognition, says Suzanne Gordon at Sugar Mill Real Estate (www.nevishouses.com), another leading realtor on Nevis. “If money’s no object, buying into a world-class label offers convenience – you just have to get yourself there – but it can be more expensive than living off resort.” Costs are dictated by the hotel system, which can sometimes be reflected in maintenance charges and the cut taken from rental returns. A Nevis alternative is individual homes and condos at boutique Cliffdwellers, with a big communal pool, beach, gym, lending library, concierge service and rentals office
on-site. Gordon explains that owners pay an annual fee and anyone staying at the properties can use the amenities – “it’s great for renters”. Mount Nevis Hotel (www. mountnevishotel.com) offers condo hotel apartments as part of the island’s Citizenship-by-Investment programme. And The Hermitage plantation inn (www. hermitagenevis.com) is building a select number of villas next to the characterful hotel with a greathouse thought to be the oldest wooden house in the Caribbean, dating back to 1670.
Spectacular views from a Mount Nevis veranda
christopheharbour.com), who already enjoy the existing Pavilion restaurant, bar and beach club, tennis courts and ultra-groovy SALT Plage beach bar, will also reap the benefits of an on-site, five-star, 126-room hotel. “The Park Hyatt St. Kitts – the first Park Hyatt in the Caribbean – opens in March, 2017 and the hotel’s spa, yoga lawn, gym, three restaurants and kids’ club will be added to the mix,” says Christophe Harbour sales executive Tim Antal. As well as having plenty to do, Antal’s clients want good security and reassurances that their real estate investment is secure. “Each neighbourhood will have private gated entry or a guard house, and with the marina underway and the 18-hole golf course teeing off in 2018, prospects for property holding its value, or appreciating, in five years time looks good,” he adds. Homes at Christophe Harbour start at US$450,000 for a tenth fractional share in a four-bedroom villa. A ready-to-go, contemporary bungalow at Sanctuary Lane
A villa at Sundance Ridge
Visitor Magazine 2017 / 43
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CBI
t. Kitts and Nevis has the longest running citizenship by investment programme in the world: it was established in 1984. Applicants can qualify for citizenship by investing in one of two ways: ◣ A US$250,000 non-refundable contribution for a single applicant to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation of St. Kitts and Nevis (SIDF); a US$300,000 nonrefundable contribution to SIDF for an applicant with up to three family members; a US$350,000 nonrefundable contribution to SIDF for an applicant with up to five family members; a US$450,000 non-refundable contribution to SIDF for an applicant with up to seven family members; a US$50,000 non-refundable contribution for each dependent above seven dependents. There are no further government fees other than for due diligence.
44 / Visitor Magazine 2017
“St. Kitts and Nevis passport provides visa-free travel to more than 133 countries, including all of the European Union”
► US$50,047 for each qualified dependent over 18 (excluding spouse). There are no further government fees other than for due diligence. Processing of an application can be achieved between 45 and 90 days. Other important facts:
➊ You do not need to reside on St. Kitts or Nevis to apply for citizenship.
➋ A list of approved real estate for the
Once an application is approved in principle under the real estate purchase option, the following fees are payable to the government:
citizenship scheme is on the government website (see below). ➌ Citizenship programme real estate cannot be resold until five years after it has been purchased, but the next buyer can also qualify to apply for citizenship. ➍ A St. Kitts and Nevis passport provides visa-free travel to more than 133 countries, including all of the European Union.
◢ US$50,047 for the main applicant ◤ US$25,047 for a spouse ◢ US$25,047 for each dependent under 18
For more information, contact the Citizenship by Investment Unit. Tel. 869 -467-1474; www.ciu.gov.kn
◥ A minimum US$400,000 investment in approved real estate in the country.
SPORT RE AL ESTATE Classic bathrooms, golf at Irie Fields and refined architecture are just some of the lifestyle attractions at Kittitian Hill
Spacious grounds and an elegant bedroom at the recently renovated Royal St. Kitts Hotel in Frigate Bay (and right)
Gracious living at Four Seasons, where a worry-free Nevis lifestyle is among the many attractions (and left)
“A number of Vacation-for-Lifers use their homes for a portion of the year, and when they’re absent their properties go into the rental pool”
~ 46 / Visitor Magazine 2017
Feeling you’re in good company with likeminded people who understand the organic and natural living concept attracts purchasers to Kittitian Hill (www.kittitianhill.com) in the northern region of St Kitts. Realtor Jo Delay says sustainability is the chief message, as chefs prepare fresh produce from the hotel’s farm to serve in the restaurant and in villas. An 18-hole golf course is another attraction, and the Kittitian Hill Village’s shops and amphitheatre are due to open at the end of 2017. Prices start at US$405,000 for a studio or fractional home, rising to US$4 million for a grander villa. For those seeking a central location, Vacation for Life (www.vacationforlifestkitts.
com) in the Royal St Kitts Hotel on Frigate Bay is a good option for a well-priced condo, costing US$400,000-$500,000. There are 224 recently renovated hotel and condo units, with another 12 in the pipeline. The hotel’s Royal Plaza – consisting of 17,000 sq ft of restaurants, jewellery and duty-free shops – is due to open in November, 2017. Two pools, a gym and three eateries are also part of the package. A number of Vacation-for-Lifers use their homes for a portion of the year, and when they’re absent their properties go into the rental pool. “We can show investors performance reports on each unit, so they know what kind of return they’ll likely get,”
says director of operations Darren Thompson. Timothy Beach Resort on Frigate Bay South represents good value, believes realtor Brian Kassab of Brian Kassab and Associates (www.bkassab.com). A one-bedroom unit, which you can use up to 28 days in the high season, costs US$225,000. “When you need new curtains or bed linen, replacement costs come out of the hotel pool – and because the hotel’s thriving there’s a good chance of getting a dividend,” Kassab observes. “As it’s an older development, you don’t get citizenship – but the hotel does reinvest profits and is constantly upgrading.” If you don’t envisage living on St Kitts, but are looking for robust investment linked to
the Citizenship-by-Investment programme, you could consider putting your money into well-known brand Embassy Suites by Hilton. “You get two weeks occupancy a year and your property’s rented the rest of the time,” Don Lockman, director of sales and marketing of developer Pelican Bay (www. pelicanbay-stkitts.com), explains. Prices start at US$445,000 – including furnishings and stamp duty – at the 226-key Hilton, with concierge, restaurants and security. Demand for hotel services is predicted to grow in the coming years, making the acquisition of a hostelry-connected home an asset for canny purchasers on the wave of V this Caribbean vogue. ●
LUXE LODGING WITH HOTEL-QUALITY PERKS ◣ You enjoy a second home, without taking on a second job looking after it ◢ Access to high-end hotel options, such as pool, bar, restaurant, spa, tennis, in-house dining and concierge services ▼ The hotel’s a meeting point – a country club at the heart of the resort ◥ Security guards and gated entries can offer peace of mind for the safety conscious
Visitor Magazine 2017 / 47
SPORT RE AL ESTATE
BUYING SOLO Intrepid purchasers are discovering standalone homes that offer good value, reports Cheryl Markosky Realtors Bernadette Williams, left, and Suzanne Gordon share their advice on the advantages of buying or building your own home
t takes guts and a good deal of patience, but buying an off-resort home or building your own place makes sense and might save you money in the long run. Ricky Pereira of St Kitts Realty (www.stkittsrealty.com) thinks now’s a good time to buy a freestanding house or condo. “On Nevis, in particular, there’s a glut of villas on the market due to older owners selling up, or kids not being able to afford time or money to maintain their inheritances,” he explains. Pereira reckons there are tremendous opportunities to be had during this generational changeover. There are fewer freestanding houses at reasonable prices to be had on St. Kitts, according to Pereira, but he’s currently selling one on Turtle Beach’s waterfront for US$1.6 million. You’ll have more control over your destiny with an individual home, but more work caring for it, says Suzanne Gordon of Sugar Mill Real Estate (www.nevishouses.com). Where you buy is important, too. “People gravitate towards neighbourhoods typically linked to a plantation inn with a bar and 50 / Visitor Magazine 2017
“You’ll have more control over your destiny with an individual home, but more work caring for it ”
restaurant, such as Golden Rock, Montpelier and Hermitage. The Jones Estate above Oualie Beach is popular, too,” she advises. Pluses for the independently minded buying off resort are choosing the insurance company you want, having your own parking spot right outside your home and no restrictions on pets for you or your renters, points out Bernadette Williams of B Williams Properties (www.bwilliamspropertiesstkitts. com). “You’ll also get to know your neighbours and people who work for you, compared to a big resort where staff come and go,” she says. “Your housekeeper and gardener will know
how you want things done and you’ll form a good working relationship with them.” More worldly, travelled, hands-on folk want to do their own thing, observes Helene Robic from Nevis Style Realty (www.nevisstylerealty. com). “Most don’t want to feel trapped on a gated community and they’re happier paying about 50 per cent less beyond the boundaries of a resort.” A good midway point is purchasing a property in a small community, such as upscale Sundance Ridge (www. sundanceridgestkitts.com) on St. Kitts’ Southeast Peninsula. Sundance Ridge’s Scott Jaynes says it’s much quieter on this cliff-top project, made up of only 14 luxury houses, than on a bustling resort. “We don’t have the amenities of somewhere like Christophe Harbour, but every villa has its own private pool. I don’t ask the question anymore, as I assume all the owners will want their own pool,” he says. Sundance Ridge offers some of the most spectacular views on the island, and is only about 15 minutes from the airport, Basseterre and the shops.
We at RE/MAX offer a totally comprehensive range of services, specifically designed and tailored to your own individual real estate needs. As experts in the St. Kitts & Nevis Citizenship by Investment program and the only real estate company owned and operated by St. Kitts’ oldest and largest developer. We have direct and exclusive access to over 500 rental properties and have forged close ties with all the other key developers. Sales and short/long term rental properties available in all areas with the best rates in the federation.
Real Estate Valuations Sales / Rentals Villas / Condos Land / Commercial Single Family Homes Property Management Citizenship Investment Property Development St. Christopher Club Commercial Centre Frigate Bay, PO Box 570, St. Kitts, W.I. T 869.465.6451 F 869.465.6466 firstname.lastname@example.org www.remax-stkitts.com
RE SPORT AL ESTATE
Step up to Sundance Ridge!
Real estate agent Brian Kassab believes it’s a good time to buy land.
“You can get land at exceptionally good prices now, as values are quietly dropped when someone makes an offer” Compact condo developments are likely to draw in more buyers, too, as of January, 2017, when many owners of Citizenship-byInvestment homes are allowed to re-sell after a five-year waiting period. Realtors predict there will be a surplus. “If you want one, wait a bit, as prices are likely to drop,” Ricky Pereira notes. The joy of going it alone is that “homeowners can do what they want and have their own garden and yard,” says Remax’s Alex Doche (www.remax-stkitts. com). And if they want to rent their property out, it’s easy to hire a local property manager to deal with it. Doche favours Manor by the Sea from the St. Christopher Club group, which sells one-off condos that are part of the Citizenship programme. You’re part of a small community and won’t pay the same level of management fees typically found on a large resort. Another community luring investors and lifestyle purchasers is Sunrise Hill Villas (www.sunrisehillvillasstkitts.com) on St. Kitts’ Half Moon Bay, with 41 one- to five-bedroom fully furnished villas, a tennis court and a communal pool. If you want to be king of your own kingdom, this is the time to construct your own house, advises Brian Kassab of Brian Kassab and Associates (www.bkassab.com). 52 / Visitor Magazine 2017
“You can get land at exceptionally good prices now, as values are quietly dropped when someone makes an offer.” Some recent examples include lots at Half Moon Bay overlooking the golf course for US$70,000, and a Turtle Beach plot going for the reduced price of US$235,000.
IT’S A BRAVE NEW WORLD IN AN OFF-RESORT HOME ◣You’ll have more flexibility with the length of time you can spend in your property and how you can use it ◤ Get a backup generator and install a cistern to cope with power cuts and the drier season ◥ It’s usually easier to become part of a community and really get to know the locals when you’re outside the confines of a hotel resort ◢ For those who like to potter, you can get stuck into a bit of DIY and create items from driftwood collected off the beach ◤ It can be fun designing your West Indies home, but do use a good architect to draw up plans and offer local advice
As well as being brave, you need to be sensible if you’re creating your own abode. “Hunt for the best lot possible with a good view. If you need to pay a bit more, what’s another $20,000 to get it?” asks Kassab. He also relishes the concept where guest facilities are separate from the main house, and perhaps connected by the pool terrace. “You can expand as you need to and shut areas off when they aren’t required.” When venturing into the world of selfbuild you must hire a professional architect with local knowledge. “He’ll understand Caribbean conditions, such as if you’re westfacing, you’ll need a huge overhang to get shade,” Kassab advises. A good architect will know the right builders to employ as well. “It might feel a little scary at first,” he adds, “but when you meet the right people it will all come together. There’s a lot of joy to be had out of the creative process.” Suzanne Gordon concurs that as long as you study the costs and keep within your budget as far as possible, you should be okay. Equally, she implores new homeowners to be a bit adventurous now they’re in the tropics. She says: “I’m often amazed that people want to duplicate what they have back home in England, like a hillside home with one acre. Why not go for the opposite and buy a V home right on the beach?” ●
Step up to Sundance Ridge at the top of the St. Kitts Southeast Peninsula! Whether you are currently a St. Kitts property owner ready for the ultimate villa or a visitor ready to build your dream villa, we can make your island dreams come true! A limited number of lots remain! When they’re gone… (well… you know the rest of that story).
Call me for a complimentary tour: Scott Jaynes, Developer The Estates on Sundance Ridge St. Kitts Mobile Number: 869.762.5978 US Toll Free: 1.800.607.3218 email@example.com www.sundanceridgestkitts.com
Sundance Ridge is an approved development for the St. Kitts Economic Citizenship Program.
GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES Tourism
St. Kitts offers attractive incentives for investment in luxury hotels, villas, condominiums, theme parks, spas and more.
St. Kitts has a modern ICT infrastructure to support investment in database management, call centers, data entry, web management and mobile applications.
St. Kitts offers incentive packages to support light manufacturing, coupled with a skilled labour force.
St. Kitts has an aggressive renewable energy policy that targets 60% renewable energy supply by 2015.
Availability of fertile land for commercial farming.
St. Kitts accreditation laws have enabled the establishment of education institutions of a high standard.
St. Kitts Captive Insurance and Foundation laws provide excellent structures for wealth preservation.
St. Kitts is committed to the establishment of a new international ﬁlm industry, in partnership with leading Hollywood creative talent.
T: 1.869.465.1153 • F: 1.869.465.1154 • ofﬁce@investstkitts.info • www.investstkitts.kn
DEVELOPERS AND AGENTS B KASSAB AND ASSOCIATES 1.869.466.6341 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.bkassab.com B WILLIAMS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SERVICES 1.869.662.5227 • email@example.com • www.bwilliamspropertiesstkitts.com CHRISTOPHE HARBOUR REAL ESTATE 1.869.466.4557 • firstname.lastname@example.org COLDWELL BANKER 1.869.762.7275 • email@example.com • www.coldwellbankersstkittsnevis.com EMBASSY SUITES BY HILTON 1-869-466-5433 • firstname.lastname@example.org 56 / Visitor Magazine 2017
• www.pelicanbay-stkitts.com FOUR SEASON RESORT ESTATES 1-869-465-2511 • email@example.com • www.fourseasons.com/nevis KITTITIAN HILL 1-869-466-1712 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.kittitianhill.com PARK HYATT ST. KITTS 1-869-663-9094 • email@example.com • www.stkitts.park.hyatt.com REMAX PARADISE PROPERTIES 1-869-466-6451 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.remax-stkitts.com ST. KITTS INVESTMENT PROMOTION AGENCY
1-869-465-1153 • email@example.com • www.investstkitts.kn ST. KITTS REALTY 1-869-663-9094 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.stkittsrealty.com SUGAR MILL REAL ESTATE 1-869-469-1093 • email@example.com • www.nevishouses.com THE ESTATES OF SUNDANCE RIDGE 1-869-466-1277 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.sundanceridgestkitts.com VACATION FOR LIFE 1 869 466 3068 • email@example.com • www.vacationforlifestkitts.com
SPORTS ◥ WATCH WORLD-CLASS CRICKET OR RUN A MARATHON – THERE’S PLENTY TO SEE AND DO ◣
The St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots celebrate taking a wicket in Caribbean Premier League action at Warner Park
SPORT Toronto, both home to large demographics of people from cricket-playing parts of the world who rarely, if ever, have the opportunity to see the game live at its top level. Speaking of potential expansion, O’Donohoe says, “I think ideally, when you look at it, New York and Toronto, you’ve got to look where the big diaspora markets are. Over 50 per cent of our sales for Fort Lauderdale in 2016 were from New Yorkers Photo captions: Icere patebem ullestra et Catus. Vid ac fora imistum te, sest quert atebem ullestra et bem ullestra etbem ullestra et Facest, odit, sitate Aximusam, quia sam nim dent laut aborate mporeri busantus, optatem ex etEvel ea velestio coribus il ipid ut dolores sendis aut harum, sitaspitet, que cuscienim ipsamenet vellece
A TWENTY20 St. Kitts and Nevis playing a big role as Caribbean Premier League targets new cricket markets BY GARRY STECKLES
ricket is one of the world’s most watched, most loved and most played sports, with a huge following in South Asia, Africa, Europe, Australasia and, of course, right here in the Caribbean. And the people behind one of the sport’s most dynamic and successful leagues, also right here in the Caribbean, are hoping to make cricket a major attraction in two parts of the world where it’s had only a marginal impact: the United States and Canada. If the HERO Caribbean Premier League does establish world-class cricket as a popular sport in those potentially big markets, it’ll be with considerable help from St. Kitts and Nevis, who have twice hosted the globally televised playoffs and finals of the ambitious young league in its first four seasons. And our CPL franchise, the Patriots, could
62 / Visitor Magazine 2017
be playing against teams from New York and Toronto, the North American cities the league is eyeing for expansion. In the 2016 tournament, the six-team CPL took ‘the biggest party in sport’ into the American market for the first time with six fixtures in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, showcasing many of the cricket superstars – among them the Caribbean’s Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree – who have been drawing crowds all over the world to Twenty20 cricket as the shortest version of the game continues to surge in popularity. The six Florida fixtures – two of them featuring the Patriots – were a big success, and Damien O’Donohoe, the CPL’s chief executive, has confirmed the league’s interest in adding franchises in New York and
VISION who were flying down. So I think New York and Toronto would be our No. 1 and 2 choices. “I think it’s for cricket collectively to look at what football has done and the plans that they’ve had – like hosting a World Cup in the States in1994.” Darren Sammy, who captained the West Indies to ICC World Twenty20 triumphs in 2016 and 2012, is also enthusiastic about taking big-league cricket to new markets. “There are lots of people of Caribbean descent who have never had the opportunity to see their team play,” said the popular St. Lucian all-rounder. And while the Patriots’ legions of fans were disappointed that their team failed to make the 2016 playoffs, hosting those fixtures, along with the final, was a big boost for the St. Kitts and Nevis economy, and also a major vehicle for international exposure: the games were watched on television by an estimated 120 million people around the world.
“Cricket is something that people in the Caribbean are genuinely passionate about”
What is it that has made the CPL such a runaway success? League executives say it’s the mix of worldclass players and the Caribbean’s party-loving fans, who have ensured that the action in the stands is every bit as entertaining as the Twenty20 fireworks on the field. “Cricket is something that people in the Caribbean are genuinely passionate about, and they’re also passionate about partying,” O’Donohoe told the Visitor. “So when we were planning the CPL we said why don’t we put the two of them together and make
it something really special and reinvigorate cricket in the region, because at that time we really felt that the game was in a slump.” And that’s exactly what they did. West Indian cricket fans haven’t had so much to cheer about for decades, and have thrown their support enthusiastically behind the CPL, with its non-stop action and user friendly time constraints – an average game lasts about three and a half hours. Twenty20 cricket at the first-class level made its debut in England in 2003, and it soon became apparent that it could have been invented specifically for the Caribbean region with its swashbuckling players and exuberant fans – witness the joyful scenes at St. Kitts’ Warner Park as the Jamaica Tallawahs and their supporters celebrated an overwhelming victory over Guyana Amazon Warriors in the V finals of the 2016 CPL . ● Visitor Magazine 2017 / 63
The Atlantic provides a spectacular backdrop at Royal St. Kitts course; top right, aiming to avoid the bunkers at Irie Fields; bottom, a fairway at the Four Seasons
“Over on Nevis, the Robert Trent Jones II course at the Four Seasons Resort is consistently rated one of the best in the Caribbean”
With three challenging 18-hole courses, our twin islands are a golfers’ paradise BY PETER SWAIN
n Frigate Bay and playing 6,851 yards from the championship tees, the Royal St. Kitts course is perfect for the first day of any golf trip. Established in the mid-1970s, then revamped in 2004, the opening holes are inland followed by a spectacular closing stretch along the ocean, reminiscent of Pebble Beach. Imaginative design ensures good variation between holes, and with 80 bunkers, numerous water hazards and countless coconut palms, there are plenty of challenges to low scoring. The course’s main defense is the wind – good players will find it demanding while high handicappers can still enjoy a fun round. There are good Taylor Made rentals available, and the clubhouse restaurant is fast and friendly. Over on Nevis, the Robert Trent Jones II course at the Four Seasons Resort is consistently rated one of the best in the Caribbean. The undulating design is demanding, with a slope index of 132 from the back tees, and views of the forested 3,232-ft Nevis Peak above and the cerulean ocean below are never less than truly dramatic. Opened in 1991, the mountainous course
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winds up steep slopes and across jungleengorged ravines before plunging back down to finish next to the beach. The scenic range is perfect for practice, the pro shop well stocked and helpful. There isn’t a clubhouse, but players can enjoy a post-game choice of 101 rums at Mango restaurant’s bar next to the 18th green. Part of the Kittitian Hill development back on St. Kitts, Irie Fields is a new, Ian Woosnam-designed 18-holer. At a modest
6,500 yards, it’s not long but this northwest facing hillside is breezy, and approaches to the demanding green complexes challenging, so this is possibly the most difficult of our three full-length courses. There are plenty of blind shots and forced carries so it’s difficult to visualise first time out, but if players stay out of the myriad traps, the fairways are quite generous. The still-evolving Irie Fields could become one of the Caribbean’s must-play courses.
KEEP ON RUNNING Internationally recognised marathon and triathlon events showcase Nevis as a destination for people who enjoy an active lifestyle
f running a full 26-mile 385-yard marathon on the island road encircling Nevis is a challenge too far, don’t worry. You can always settle for a half marathon, or even a 5k fun run. The Nevis Marathon and Running Festival has become a fixture in the sporting calendar. Every September, runners from the US, UK and further afield join locals and other Caribbean competitors in a celebration of physical endeavour. In a well-run series of events organised by Greg Philip and Nevis Multisport, with backing from the Nevis Tourist Authority, competitors have a range of distances to
choose from. The 5k race usually kicks off affairs before the weekend. The 10k on a Saturday morning sees contenders running from Charlestown to Cotton Ground and back. Then it’s the turn of the half marathon runners – by now, there are numerous water and feed stations set up and cheering crowds lining the route. The main events are the full marathon and the marathon relay run around the island road – the route is a few miles short of the full marathon distance, so a loop is added to bring it up to length. It’s certainly scenic but there are some serious hills to be climbed, like the Anaconda up through
Morning Star. Those interested should go to www.nevismarathon.com The Nevis International Triathlon takes place in November, and attracts endurance champions from all over the world. There are two main races: the shorter course involves a 500m swim, then a 30k bike ride, finishing with a 5k run. The longer race starts with a 1,000m swim, then a 60k cycle, and finally a 10k run. There’s also a shorter event for children and families – well, you have to start somewhere. “The point of both the marathon and triathlon festivals is to encourage and reward athletic excellence,” says Greg Philip, “and also to demonstrate that Nevis is a fantastic destination for people of all ages who want to pursue an active lifestyle. We’ve already seen tour operators like Swimtrek and 209 Events directing visitors to Nevis and this element of our island’s appeal is growing all the time.” Visitor Magazine 2017 / 65
Pursuit of the ‘big five’ is a popular and exhilarating sport in the waters around our two islands BY PETER SWAIN
GONE FISHIN’ C
ombining the thrill of the chase and a keen understanding of marine life, sport fishing on the high seas is regarded as a perfect day out by its devotees. Most visitors wanting to experience it charter a local craft and crew for a half- or full-day, with Oualie Beach on Nevis the hub of the sport locally. Nothing connected with fishing is ever guaranteed, and a strong constitution when it comes to sea sickness is certainly helpful, but if all goes to plan it’s an exhilarating outing. Catching one or several of the ‘big five’ pelagic fish, namely wahoo, mahi, tuna, marlin and sailfish, is the object of the exercise. Most fishing boats, which can accommodate up to six fishermen, are equipped with all the gear including fish-spotting sonar, but the real skill of the skipper is knowing the local fishing grounds and judging conditions on any given day. When a suitable area is found, the boat trawls a number of lines at different depths with the appropriate lures. This can involve cruising along the edge of the underwater shelf, where the depth drops off dramatically, because this is where big game fish themselves hunt. From Oualie, that’s only 15
minutes sailing time away. Locally, marlin can reach 500lbs, and closer to the shore 200lb tarpon are often lurking, but 20lb to 40lb wahoo are the mainstay of our sport. They can strike at 50mph and run for several hundred yards making them an exceptionally exciting, not to say demanding, fish to land.
“When a suitable area is found, the boat trawls a number of lines at different depths with the appropriate lures”
They also taste good – perfect for sushi or marinated in lime and garlic for the BBQ. By no means all fish are kept, with catch-andrelease the norm particularly for smaller specimens and less palatable species. And remember, the catch belongs to the boat so if you want a portion for dinner, negotiate with V the skipper before you leave port. ●
HISTORY ◥ ST. KITTS AND NEVIS: SMALL ISLANDS WITH A VIBRANT PAST ◣
Channel 70 is the ultimate experience without set ting foot outside your room. 869.465.0706 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.stkit tsvisitorchannel.com
The remains of an old sugar mill are a reminder of the crop’s pivotal role in the history of St. Kitts and Nevis
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SIMPLY MAGNIFICENT Brimstone Hill Fortress is a symbol of our turbulent history BY GARRY STECKLES
he tiny islands of St. Kitts and Nevis have a remarkable history out of all proportion to their size. And the most iconic symbol of that turbulent past, St. Kitts’ Brimstone Hill Fortress, is undoubtedly the most important historic building in the entire Englishspeaking Caribbean. The magnificent fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is living testimony to the strength and skill of the African slaves who built it for the British military and to the important international role St. Kitts and Nevis played in the 17th and 18th centuries, when Britain, France and Spain were fighting for control of the West Indies and the enormous wealth generated by the region’s sugar industry. St. Kitts was a pioneer and major producer in that huge industry, and sugar money was instrumental in the financing of Britain’s Industrial Revolution and the expansion of its global empire. Simply put, this was an island worth
“Within the cramped confines of the National Archives are some remarkable and unique resources”
PRESERVING OUR PAST St. Kitts’ National Archives are a national treasure BY CAMERON GILL
n 1979, Victoria ‘Viki’ Borg began an odyssey that took her from her small Mediterranean island home of Malta to a new home, the tiny Caribbean island of St. Kitts. She had met and married Kittitian trade unionist Joseph ‘Fidel’ O’Flaherty in England. The couple married in Malta and moved to St. Kitts in 1981, with Viki initially working as a private school teacher. Having expressed an interest in the National Archives, a door to a new career opened unexpectedly when Ms. Marie Weekes, who worked in the Archives, passed away in 1995. St. Kitts’ new Archivist unhesitatingly flung herself into her new career. Against formidable odds, Viki and her tiny staff of two have managed to, among other achievements: Launch the Historic Basseterre 70 / Visitor Magazine 2017
website www.historicbasseterre.com; create the immensely popular Gems of the Archives monthly email newsletter; and, with the assistance of Mormon volunteers, create a spreadsheet of births and marriages which people from around the world have used to trace family histories in St. Kitts. Within the cramped confines of the National Archives are some remarkable and unique resources. These include the Register of Slaves – many other islands have already lost theirs to fires. As it turns out, the transfer of many historic documents to the vaults at Government Headquarters from the Courthouse at Independence Square was fortuitous, as the old Courthouse and its contents were destroyed by fire in 1982. Another group of fascinating documents
fighting for, and Brimstone Hill was built to help Britain prevent St. Kitts’ sugar riches from falling into the hands of their bitter colonial rivals. They didn’t always succeed, mind you – the
seemingly impregnable fortress was seized by the French in the Battle of Brimstone Hill in 1782 and held by them until St. Kitts was handed over to Britain at the Treaty of Paris the following year. The towering fortress took about 100 years to build, using huge stones skilfully carved by slaves out of the hard volcanic rock that makes up much of the upper reaches of the almost 800-foot hill. The stones were then hauled up the steep slopes to the top and cemented into place using mortar made from the limestone found lower down the hill. The fortress fell into disrepair after the British military pulled out of St. Kitts in the mid-1800s and was neglected and vandalised until a restoration campaign launched in the mid 1960s by the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park Society. Today, the meticulously restored fortress, with its commanding views of St. Kitts’ west coast and neighbouring islands, is a time capsule of global importance and a ‘must-see’ for visitors.
“Simply put, this was an island worth fighting for, and Brimstone HillIcere was builtullestra to help Britain Kitts’ patebem et Catus. Vid ac prevent fora imistumSt. te, sest quertsugar atebem riches ullestra etfrom bem ullestra etbem falling into hands of quia their bitter ullestra et Facest, odit,the sitate Aximusam, sam nim dentcolonial laut aboraterivals” mporeri busantus, optatem ex et Viki Borg and her staff keep our history safe in the National Archives.
is the journal of the committee sent out to sell the French lands on St. Kitts after the the island was ceded to Britain by France in the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. The journal is a unique resource, with its daily record of who was bidding for specific lands. For example, John Africa, a former slave and possible ex-soldier, submitted a bid for land at Half Moon Bay. However, archival records are forever growing because new records are constantly being produced. Today’s article, transaction, memo or law is tomorrow’s important record. As a result, the St. Kitts National Archives have outgrown their current location at Government Headquarters and Viki is hoping to find a new home for St. Kitts’ irreplaceable archival records.
cia vil halibultis a tabem te, quium sediervit.Mus ena, quam ad remquam que proris, opopte condion onontil vitil consupe rfeciam priam et ocaperimius noxim forunu elutussul vivivatanum, Caturbitu munc fecerbistus etius. Num es parit; hortellem moventis porisses verum ad menequonsus, omponsultum rem fures verum, qui patus coernissimum ortella condam. Rompoptis elustus hocrion dactoru deporunti, clus, nicut atiurim erriora timoltusulla erideor ublis vivatum are ad Catuscer labusqui praciam hostiac ionvoliam opubliae atiae huissen tenihil hicivividem mederivica; esimihi caturnihilin dem popubliquid non sus facchicitil ca; Cat
L. Ex sed crudemurbit? Alaberum fursunt erebununcum atius, sed more ia nes et audest nocur. Sere inari in turortus, cervidemu
Brimstone Hill Fortress was built to deter Britain’s colonial rivals in the days when world powers fought to control the lucrative sugar industry
HISTORY The historic Bath Hotel was a playground of the rich and famous and a pioneer in Caribbean tourism
A UNIQUE PLANTATION New River Estate embraced technology to cope with changing times BY CAMERON GILL
HISTORY LIVES ON AT BATH HOTEL The water’s still fine at this Nevis landmark BY CAMERON GILL
M The remains of Nevis’s New River Estate illustrate the owners’ initiatives as they struggled to keep up with a changing world
“The owners of New River Estate showed unusual initiative in adopting new technology and this is clearly visible today”
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he landscape of Nevis bears no shortage of plantations, tangible evidence of how sugarcane and the related slave trade left an indelible mark on the island’s history and heritage. The New River Estate, however, is unique because here you can find remarkably intact evidence of man’s attempt to cope with a changing world by adopting new technologies. New River Estate was established in the early 18th century and by mid-century more than 100 enslaved Africans toiled there. Unlike their counterparts in the Spanish Caribbean, plantation owners in the British West Indies were notoriously leery of adopting new technologies, regardless of the cost savings and production efficiencies they offered. Even after the end of legal
enslavement in 1834, many still preferred to rely on exploiting cheap labour. The owners of New River Estate showed unusual initiative in adopting new technology and this is clearly visible today. Existing structures and features at New River include a beautifully intact ‘blouse and skirt’ structure (a traditional West Indian building with a stonework ground floor and a timber upper floor) and the last operational steam engine on the island (1893 to 1958). Exploration of this fascinating, and now tranquil, site rewards you with so many discoveries – from the enduring craftsmanship of Afro-Nevisian stonemasons and carpenters, to the desperate attempts of a waning plantocracy to hold on to their way of life by utilising all of the technological means at their disposal.
any of us grow up reading mystery and adventure novels, whether Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew or Secret Seven, where the heroes explore spooky and mysterious mansions. Few of us are fortunate enough to actually explore such places. As a schoolboy from St. Kitts whose father, a police officer, was posted to Nevis for a few years, a stately ruin in Bath Village where we lived has given me adventurous memories which are cherished to this day. Decades and even centuries before, many influential and famous people also had cherished memories of the Bath Hotel. They not only marveled at its architecture after arriving by ship from Europe or other West Indian islands, but also found therapeutic bliss in its hot springs. The early demise of the sugar industry in Nevis led to the erection of what would become a pioneer in the tourist industry in the Caribbean. Built in 1778, the lobby of the Bath Hotel in its 18th and 19th century heyday must have resembled a scene out of Downton Abbey, with famous faces such as Admiral Horatio Nelson, Prince William Henry (younger brother of King George III) and the
poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge certainly not strangers at this hostelry. One distinguished visitor, Sir Reginald St. Johnston, Governor of St. Kitts and Nevis during the 1920s, penned fond recollections in his autobiography of visiting “the baths” with his wife. Sir Reginald praised the waters’ ability to relieve rheumatism. However, the Bath Hotel should be celebrated not only for the social elite who once graced its halls and soaked in its hot springs but also (and arguably more importantly) for the Afro-Nevisian stonemasons, most of whom, if not all, would have been enslaved persons, who created one of the most iconic structures in the Caribbean, as well as one of the region’s first resorts. The waters, which according to Sir Reginald contain high amounts of magnesium, sodium and sulphur, are still a popular therapeutic retreat for locals and visitor alike. The Bath Hotel building itself is a good example of adaptive reuse. Recently restored, it now houses (quite fittingly) Nevis’s Ministry of Tourism. Restoration may have banished the spooks of my childhood. Thankfully however, the beauty and charm of the Bath Hotel V remain intact. ● Visitor Magazine 2017 / 73
Hit hip-hop musical a celebration of U.S. founding father who was born in Nevis BY RENEE PETRILLO
The man who wrote the words to Amazing Grace used to captain ships carrying slaves to St. Kitts BY RENEE PETRILLO
hatever your background, you’re probably familiar with the hymn Amazing Grace. But have you ever thought about who wrote the words to it? Chances are you’d never guess that a debauched slave boat captain and ruthless slave trader composed the lyrics that so many still identify with today. In the first half of the 18th century, Englishman John Newton spent much of his early life at sea, starting when he was 11 years old until he was 29. Many of those years found him carrying human cargo from Sierra Leone, and two of those voyages were to St. Kitts, where he made landfall at a sheltered anchorage off Sandy Point on the island’s northwest coast. Newton’s story includes at least one near-death experience, a religious conversion, a marriage to his childhood sweetheart, an ascent to priesthood, and a chance meeting with William Wilberforce, who would become a leading abolitionist and a politician instrumental in the Abolition of the Slave Trade act of 1807. Newton’s religious conversion would also lead to his collaboration with the English poet William Cowper, producing more than 200 hymns.
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It might seem a paradox, particularly on St. Kitts, to admire a man who was responsible for so much cruelty to so many, but Newton’s is a story of redemption. In addition to his music, he wrote many publications, from his autobiography, titled An Authentic Narrative, to Thoughts upon the African Slave Trade, an influential document that graphically described the horrors of the slave trade and his role in it. While he could not reverse what he’d done, he did his best to rectify it, and his experiences on St. Kitts helped pave the way for that transformation. The story behind Amazing Grace was the first of two big Broadway productions with ties to St. Kitts and Nevis. The second, about the life of Nevis-born Alexander Hamilton, is spotlighted on the opposite page. John Newton’s tale of romance, rebellion and redemption comes to life at the Amazing Grace Experience in Sandy Point. Website www.amazinggraceexperience.com. Phone: 869-465-1122 and 668-2224. V Address; Amazing Grace Visitor Center, Crab Hill, Sandy Point. ●
he Broadway sensation Hamilton begins with a question put to music: How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence, impoverished, in squalor grow up to be a hero and a scholar? The ten-dollar founding father without a father, got a lot farther by working a lot harder, by being a lot smarter, by being a self-starter. While that’s a rather blunt way of putting it, it is true that Alexander Hamilton was one of two illegitimate sons of James Hamilton and Rachel Faucette, who was still unhappily married to a man on Dutch St. Croix. Alexander came to be born on what the hip-hop musical describes as a “forgotten spot in the Caribbean” – Nevis – thanks to his ancestors: his maternal grandparents were married in the island’s St. George’s Anglican Church on June 26, 1718. Years later his mother and father would meet and fall in love on St. Kitts, raising Alexander and his older brother, James, on his mother’s inherited Nevis estate for several years. Alexander wasn’t exactly an orphan, however. When he was around 11, his father deserted the family, who were then living on St. Croix. He lost his mother to fever two years later, and the cousin who adopted him committed suicide a year after that. Luckily his aunt, his boss, and the local pastor helped him along until he left for British North America while still in his teens. Nor was he really impoverished. His family lived modestly, and his business-savvy mother must have taught him well because by his mid-teens Alexander was a supervisor in an import/export business. What is absolutely certain, though, is that Alexander Hamilton was the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and a hero of the Revolutionary War. And there’s a lot more to the Hamilton legend. His exposure to slavery in the Caribbean made him a staunch supporter of abolition. In 1774 Alexander wrote, “no one man should exercise any power, or pre-eminence over his fellow creatures…” Holding slaves, he argued, appealed to the worst in human character.It’s also certain that he founded the U.S. Mint, the New York Post newspaper, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Bank of New York, which is
still operating more than 200 years later. And he is at least partly responsible for the American tradition of eating turkey at Thanksgiving, courtesy of his proclamation that “No citizen of the U.S. shall refrain from turkey on Thanksgiving Day.” And finally, both Alexander and his son Philip died the exact same way in the exact same place, only three years apart. Philip, who was 19, died after being shot in a duel in 1801. Alexander was killed in a pistol duel on the same spot in 1804. The Museum of Nevis History, on the Charlestown property where Hamilton was born, is the place for visitors to Nevis to learn more about the life and times of this V remarkable man. ●
THINGS TO DO ◥ THERE’S NO SHORTAGE OF ACTION IN ST. KITTS AND NEVIS ◣ Funky Monkey tours are a favourite way to explore off-the-beaten-track Nevis. “We’ll show you the lot,” they promise
OUT AND ABOUT
OUT & ABOUT A RIDE ON A UNIQUE RAILWAY
The St. Kitts Scenic Railway is truly unique – it’s the last operating railway in the Caribbean as well as being a link with our colourful past. The railway runs on a narrow-gauge line that was laid early in the last century to make it easier for sugar plantations to transport cane to the sugar factory on the outskirts of Basseterre. Today, with the sugar industry terminated more than a decade ago, the railway carries passengers in double-decker carriages with 360-degree viewing from the open upper deck and air-conditioned comfort below. You can read more about the Scenic Railway on Page 76
OUT &ABOUT W
hen it comes to keeping busy and having fun, St. Kitts has an array of things to see and do out of all proportion to its modest size. We offer a wide assortment of ways to enjoy our beauty, among them paragliding, a unique train ride, hikes through lush rain forests, treks up a steep mountainside to the crater of a long-dormant volcano or soaking up history in a magnificent fortress that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Following are just some of the things you can experience in this tropical paradise.
RAIN FOREST HIKES AND A MOUNTAIN CHALLENGE
St. Kitts’ lush rain forests and mountains are home to some of the most spectacular and unspoiled scenery in the entire Caribbean, and it’s all readily accessible. Tour options range from leisurely hikes 80 / Visitor Magazine 2017
Sky Safari Tours are in the foothills behind the village of Old Road, with their offices on the grounds of Wingfield Estate. www.skysafaristkitts.com (869-466-4259 or 869-465-4347)
through the lower reaches of the rain forests to a trek to the crater of the country’s highest peak, Mount Liamuiga. This exhilarating experience involves a two-hour, two and a half-mile vertical hike that takes you 2,800 feet above sea level to the rim of Liamuiga’s mile-wide crater. The trek back down is equally demanding and just as memorable. A warning: it’s easy to get lost on those enticing rain-forest and mountain trails, so don’t explore them without a guide.
From flying high in the sky to a rain-forest hike to lively casino action, there’s plenty to see and do in St. Kitts BY GARRY STECKLES
TIME FOR A FLUTTER
St. Kitts, one of the smallest islands in the Caribbean, is home to the region’s biggest gambling mecca. The 35,000-square-foot Royal Beach Casino, just off the main lobby of the Marriott Resort on Frigate Bay North, brings a touch of Vegas and Monte Carlo to our island with the buzz of 300 slot machines and the action on tables featuring just about every game in the book. Among the games on offer are Texas Hold’em (including a touch-screen version), Blackjack, the mwost popular of all the card games, Craps, a dice game that’s always lively and often downright raucous, Caribbean Stud Poker, Let It Ride, 3-Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em and Roulette.
SIGHTSEEING IN THE SADDLE
One of the most enjoyable ways to explore the delights of St. Kitts is on the back of a well-trained and well-mannered horse. Riding along lovely and mostly deserted stretches of Atlantic beach is one popular option, while a trek into the heart of a lush rain forest is guaranteed to be a memorable experience. A well-regarded local horseback riding facility is Trinity Stables. 869-465-3226 or 662-3098.
SOARING THROUGH THE RAIN FOREST
Sky Safari Tours – often known simply as the Zipline – enable you to soar at speeds of up to 50 miles an hour through and above dramatic rain forest scenery, with unobstructed and unique views of Brimstone Hill Fortress in the distance. Ziplines consist of steel cables just under an inch thick. Riders are harnessed into a trolley suspended below the cable, and soar at heights from 10 feet to 250 feet. There are five lines, ranging from a training cable less then 200 feet long to a 1,300-foot line known as ‘The Boss’.
EXPLORING ON TWO WHEELS
Another great way to see our beautiful island is on two wheels. A scooter is the vehicle of choice when it comes to paved roads, while the more adventurous way to go is on an enduro cross-country motorcycle taking you off the beaten track. There’s a wide selection of both available for rent from St. Kitts and Nevis Motorcycle Rentals on the Bay Road in Basseterre. 869-465-5533 Visitor Magazine 2017 / 81
from approximately US$500 for a half-day’s outing to US$1,000 for a full day, and prices include tackle, bait, drinks and snacks.
WINGFIELD: ANOTHER SLICE OF HISTORY
PARAGLIDING WITH OR WITHOUT AN ENGINE
There are a number of interesting ways to explore the remarkable natural beauty of St. Kitts, but there’s nothing to match the exhilarating experience of paragliding or powered paragliding. With wind-driven paragliding, you soar up to 300 feet high in a lightweight, free-flying, foot-launched glider, looking down at the spectacular scenery. All, we hasten to add, in tandem with a certified professional pilot. You can choose to glide sedately, or the pilot can do some simple acrobatic manoeuvres to make the experience even more thrilling. Paragliding is offered by Beach Addiction St. Kitts and Nevis, headquartered at the Carambola Beach Club on South Friar’s Beach. www.beachaddictionstkittsnevis.com (869-765-4246) Powered paragliding, as the name implies, is the same as paragliding with the addition of a light engine strapped to the pilot’s back, which means you can fly as high as 10,000 feet or as low as a foot or two above the ground or the waves. Whatever the height, it’s certain to be an experience you’ll never forget. Powered paragliding is offered by St. Kitts Water Sports, based at Reggae Beach Bar and Grill at Cockleshell Beach on the Southeast Peninsula. www.stkittswatersports.com (869-762-3543)
THE BIG FISH ARE BITING
Sport fishing is excellent in the waters around St. Kitts, with a remarkable variety of fish up for grabs. The potential ‘catch of the day’ includes billfish, bonito, dorado, kingfish, mahi mahi, sailfish, snapper, tuna, wahoo and marlin. Charters usually cost 84 / Visitor Magazine 2017
Wingfield Estate, just behind the village of Old Road, is another important symbol of St. Kitts’ turbulent past. Wingfield is the site of the oldest known standing rum distillery in the Caribbean, the remains of which were uncovered less than a couple of decades ago, and was the first land grant in the English-speaking Caribbean, in 1625. Both Wingfield and neighbouring Romney Manor were once owned by Sam Jefferson II, the great, great, great grandfather of Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States. You can read more about Romney Manor in a special section in the centre of the Visitor.
ST. KITTS ECO-PARK
A recent addition to our list of ‘green’ attractions, the St. Kitts Eco-Park’s stars are impressive rows of fruit trees, shrubs and flowers, along with the biggest greenhouse complex in the Caribbean. The park is also a place where young local farmers learn horticultural techniques. The Eco-Park, located on 20 acres in the north-western area of the island, is open from 9am to 4pm Monday to Saturday. V www.ecopark.kn (465-8755) ●
BRIMSTONE HILL FORTRESS This UNESCO World Heritage Site should be on the ‘must see’ list for any visitor to St. Kitts. It’s a monument to the skill, strength and endurance of the enslaved Africans who built it and it symbolises Britain’s colonial ambitions during a crucial era in world history. Brimstone Hill is regarded as the most important historic structure in the English-speaking Caribbean and you can read more about it on Page 71.
St. Kitts- Nevis Motorcycle Rentals There’s no place more beautiful than St. Kitts and Nevis – and there’s no better way to explore these wonderful islands than on a two-wheel vehicle from St. Kitts-Nevis Motorcycle Rentals. We specialise in enduro motorcycles for those who want to venture off the beaten track, as well as scooters. Open seven days a week from 8am to 6pm, we’re conveniently located on the Bay Road just east of Fort Street in Basseterre.
We also sell bicycles, helmets, batteries, chains, car tires, spark plugs and other accessories.
A WONDERLAND From cruising on a cat to paddling your own kayak, the Caribbean beckons BY GARRY STECKLES
he blue waters of the Caribbean are a magnet for millions of visitors every year, and they offer a multitude of activities. Some of them involve nothing too strenuous – for example, taking a step from a dock onto the deck of a sleek catamaran and being pampered for a few hours. Other options include exhilarating water sports, some of them physically demanding. All are readily available in St. Kitts. Let’s start with the easy outing. Catamaran cruises have long been a favourite activity for our visitors and are also popular for nautical weddings and with locals chartering them for a party. And
there’s no better way to savour the sun and sea of our tropical paradise, with an attentive crew making sure your glass is never empty, the music never stops and that you’re having the time of your life. Our two specialty catamaran operators are Blue Water Safaris and Leeward Islands Charters. Blue Water Safaris have four custombuilt, dual-hull catamarans and a compact, streamlined power cat. They offer an assortment of day and night cruises, and also feature exciting drive-it-yourself power dinghy tours. Blue Water’s offices are on Princes Street in central Basseterre. Email: email@example.com; phone 869-466-
4933; website www.bluewatersafaris.com Leeward Islands Charters operate three catamarans, including the fast and famous Spirit of St. Kitts, and also offer a wide selection of day and night cruises, including a full-day outing with a beach barbecue lunch in Nevis. Leeward Islands Charters can be contacted by phone at 869-465-7474 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Their office in St. Kitts is adjacent to the Ballahoo Restaurant at the Circus in Basseterre and their website is www.leewardislandscharters.com And now for something a little more demanding: water sports.
Over the past few years our water sports menu has grown by leaps and bounds, and our main operators offer just about every imaginable option for thrilling experiences on the calm waters of the Caribbean. One of them is Beach Addiction St. Kitts and Nevis, with its main base at the Carambola Beach Club on South Friar’s Beach on the Southeast Peninsula and kiteboarding locations at the Marriott beach on Frigate Bay North and at Turtle Beach near the tip of the Peninsula. Beach Addiction is operated by Nicholas Dupre, from a well-known St. Kitts restaurant and sailing family, and has expanded its list of options considerably in the half decade or so it’s been in business. Activities are divided into two categories – adventure sports and beachside rentals. Adventure sports include: kiteboarding lessons; tandem paragliding flights; flyboarding lessons; yacht sailing lessons/
“With our huge variety of lessons and excursions you can be sure we have an activity to cater to your excitement needs”
tour; sail and snorkel Hobie Cat adventure; wakeboarding and waterskiing; surfing lessons; jet ski rentals, and a stand-up paddleboarding coastline tour. Beachside rentals include: snorkeling; pedal boats; kayaking; stand-up paddleboarding rentals; Hobie Cat rentals; windsurfing; toys, games and floats rentals. www.beachaddictionstkittsnevis.com (869 765 4246)
Another major operator when it comes to fun and thrills on the Caribbean is St. Kitts Water Sports, which bills itself as the No. 1 water sports centre in the region. Says owner Jeff Antrade, a Canadian who has been doing business out of Reggae Beach Bar and Grill for around five years, “With our huge variety of lessons and excursions you can be sure we have an activity to cater to your excitement needs. Whether you’re looking to cruise our bays on jet skis, snorkel in crystal clear waters or fly up to 30 feet in the air like iron man, we are committed to making this the best vacation of your life.” St. Kitts Water Sports activities include flyboarding, kiteboarding, glass-bottom kayaking, hoverboarding, stand-up paddle boarding, wakeboarding, surfing, power paragliding, Hobie Cat sailing and a jet-ski snorkel adventure. www.stkittswatersports. V com (869-762-3543) ● Visitor Magazine 2017 / 87
CAT MAN A cruising veteran takes us behind the sailing scenes BY GARRY STECKLES
ne of the most popular outings of the many available in St. Kitts and Nevis is cruising on a catamaran. And that’s hardly surprising. After all, what could be better than setting sail in the blue waters of the Caribbean on a comfortable, dual-hulled cat accompanied by a balmy tropical breeze, a sound system pumping out soca and reggae, a well-stocked open bar and – perhaps most importantly – a convivial, experienced crew determined to make your cruise as safe and enjoyable as they can? These guys, we can assure you, are good, no matter which cata-
maran you choose of the half dozen that operate in the waters of St. Kitts and Nevis. One of the most experienced of these dedicated catamaran sailors is Eros Pringle – or simply ‘Rossi’ to all who know him. We asked Rossi, who works for Leeward Islands Charters, to share with us a little about himself and tell us, from an insider’s perspective, what makes a catamaran cruise such a memorable experience for so many people.
Question: How long have you been sailing and what first got you interested? Answer: Approximately 22 to 23 years. What got me interested was an opportunity to meet people and the work environment seemed great.
How long have you been with Leeward, and which of their cats have you worked on the most? Twenty years, and I have worked on Spirit of St. Kitts the most. What does your role on the cat entail? Sometimes captain and sometimes crew, and I might fill in for the beach crew if it’s a beach barbecue cruise. What do you like most about the job? I just love to meet people and being on the ocean. What sort of people have you met over the years … any big names? Quite a few, including Kelly Ripa, Kenny Rogers, Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown, Britney Spears, Sally Field, Morgan Freeman and more. How many crew members go out on a typical cruise? For Spirit of St. Kitts the captain plus four, for Eagle the captain plus three and Caona the captain plus two. What’s the secret to keeping people happy from start to finish of a cruise? A Making sure they are comfortable and happy by making them feel like they are part of the team. We also do this by making jokes, dancing and they always have refreshments. Any crew colleagues you’d like to mention? Big up all of the crews for the hard work we have been doing together for all these years. Any thoughts about the famous Spirit of St. Kitts? Is she an easy cat to sail and is she the fastest in this part of the world?
88 / Visitor Magazine 2017
She can be very easy to sail at times but on a very windy day she can have you on your toes. And yes, she may be one of the fastest cats in the Caribbean. Any memorable moments from cruises past you’d like to share with our readers? Every day is a memorable day What’s your personal favourite cruise of the many options Leeward offers? I would say full-day charters, this tour is a seven-hour cruise which V includes snorkeling and a barbecue buffet on the beach. ●
Question: How long have you been sailing and what first got you interested? Answer: Approximately 22 to 23 years. What got me interested was an opportunity to meet people and the work environment seemed great. How long have you been with Leeward, and which of their cats have you worked on the most? Twenty years, and I have worked on Spirit of St. Kitts the most. What does your role on the cat entail? Sometimes captain and sometimes crew, and I might fill in for the beach crew if it’s a beach barbecue cruise.
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Tel: 466-4933 www.bluewatersafaris.com email@example.com
OUT & ABOUT
beach, up in the hills, through the bush, past resorts and ruins, we’ll show you the lot,” he says. The Nevis Heritage Trail is denoted by blue signs. Greg will take in many of the sites, but you can also visit most of them independently. The Botanical Gardens celebrate tropical trees and plants with a wonderful orchid collection, as well as outlandish palms, rare fruits, and a butterfly-filled rainforest conservatory. It’s a hidden gem.
7am HIKING THE PEAK OR WALKING TO THE WATERFALLS
Nevis Peak is an impressive 3,232ft high, so to avoid the heat of the day, guide-led climbs usually start soon after daybreak. Depending on conditions underfoot, and the fitness of the climbers, the hike takes about two hours up and two hours back. So, is it a walk, hike or climb? Well, all three. The modestly fit should be OK, but younger children, older people or those with certain health issues should seek guidance before setting out. On the lower slopes, walkers pass ancient mango, cinnamon and mahogany trees. Then the hike begins – the gradient is steep and if there’s been rain, the ground will be slippery. The trickiest part of the ascent involves a series of ropes up near-vertical rocky paths with climbers hauling themselves up hand over hand. Anyone with a sense of adventure will love it. The summit rewards climbers with dramatic views of the surrounding islands if, and it’s a big if, there’s no cloud cover. Rather less strenuous but equally scenic are walks up to the Source or the waterfalls. You’ll need a guide for both and at least a couple of hours.
Midday WALK ALONG LOVERS’ BEACH/BIRD WATCHING
Most activities on Nevis can be split into two categories: energetic
and relaxed. Here’s a guide to just some of them BY PETER SWAIN
Midday WATER SPORTS
After all that exercise, it’s time to check out some cooler ocean action. Funky Monkey has a small fleet of jet skis – launched from Pinney’s Beach – on which you can explore the coastline and maybe even see a whale passing through the Narrows. Guides also know all the best snorkeling spots. The island is surrounded by coral, so snorkelers can watch rare sea turtles swimming past, as well as rays, wahoo and lobsters scuttling along the bottom – children love it. Paddling a sea kayak is another peaceful way of reconnoitering Nevisian waters. Based at Oualie Beach, Scuba Safaris hire different shapes and sizes of craft for solo use or as part of a group tour. Adventurous types know kite surfing to be one of the most skillful and thrilling watersports. Herbert’s Beach, a mile or so from Nisbet Plantation, usually has a stiff breeze, while being protected by a coral reef offshore. Even watching expert practitioners can be thrilling. The best surfing, when the wind is low and there’s a north swell, is off Pizza Beach, which 92 92 // Visitor Visitor Magazine Magazine 2017 2017
If you’ve been sitting in a 4x4 all morning, you’ll need to unwind with a gentle stroll along the beach. Off the island road, it’s 200 yards through the trees down to Lovers’ Beach, but once there, you should have a mile of pristine sand almost to yourself. The water on this shoreline is usually calm, so ideal for swimming. The walk up and back, with a certain amount of pool investigation, shell collecting and power tanning, takes a lazy hour. Excitement comes from watching the occasional small island-hopper approach Vance W. Amory Airport low over the cobalt sea. A more regular aviator is pelecanus occidentalis, better known as the brown pelican, and this is a good place to observe them diving for fish. In flight, there’s something of the pterodactyl about our national bird, but when hunting they’re more like dive bombers – very entertaining. Patrolling the skies at greater altitudes, you’ll also see frigate birds – recognisable by their swept-back delta wings and forked tails. When diving, they can reach 80mph. Red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, migratory ospreys, and a variety of humming birds will also delight visiting bird watchers.
2pm ALEXANDER HAMILTON’S BIRTHPLACE
has a wicked left break, as well as off Sandy Bank Bay just across the Narrows on St. Kitts.
For novices and genuine racers, Nevis is cycling heaven. The main road circumnavigating the island is about 21 miles or 34k long, and perfect for a gentle pedal, you might think. But be warned – there are some very serious hills. The big decision is: clockwise or
counterclockwise. The former has the straight but steep ascent through Zion village, the latter features a zigzag hill known as the Anaconda up through Morning Star to Gingerland. Fit cyclists take about an hour, but others allow two, and don’t forget water and sun block. Most hotels will arrange bike hire, or you can go straight to Winston Crooke who runs the bike shop on Oualie Beach. He has a good selection of road bikes, mountain bikes, hybrids and smaller models for children, plus
RELAXED 7am BATHING IN THE HOT SPRINGS
Taking a dip in the therapeutic waters of the Bath Hot Springs on the outskirts of Charlestown is a particularly peaceful way to start the day. Nevis is a dormant volcano, so mineral-rich water bubbles up from deep below at about 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The outdoor pools are good for rheumatism, or
just an efficacious soak while catching up on local gossip.
9am FUNKY MONKEY/ HERITAGE TRAIL/ BOTANICAL GARDENS
Next up, a tour of the island in one of a fleet of all-terrain open-sided jeeps that go practically anywhere. The Funky Monkey coolers are full of good cheer, so just show up and Greg Slagon and his team will do the rest. “On the
Nevisians have long been proud that one of America’s Founding Fathers was born on their island back in 1757. The success of the Broadway musical Hamilton has now brought this brilliant man global recognition. On the waterfront, near the heart of Charlestown, Hamilton House has a fascinating collection of Hamilton memorabilia, casting light not only on the early life of the USA’s first Secretary of the Treasury but on conditions in the ‘Queen of the Caribbees’, as this British colony was known in the 18th century. The Georgian-style building was erected on what are believed to be the foundations Visitor Magazine 2017 / 93
OUT AND ABOUT of the original house where James Hamilton and his common law wife Rachel Faucette lived, and where Alexander was born and raised. As Stratford-upon-Avon is to Shakespeare, Nevis is to Hamilton, and the museum is a must-see experience for anyone interested in the great man. History buffs should also take in Montpelier Plantation inn, where Horatio Nelson tied the knot with local plantation owner’s daughter Fanny Nisbet in 1787.
Tour Nevis And St. Kitts... By Land Or By Sea!
helmets. You can then join a guided tour or take off on your own. It’s the perfect way to get an appetite for dinner and see the sights. In a group, it’s also a sociable activity enjoyed by both visitors and enthusiastic locals.
5pm HORSE RIDING AT SUNSET
Sunsets off the west coast can be spectacular. They happen fast and if there are no clouds on the horizon sometimes result in the fabled green flash. One way to appreciate the phenomenon is from the back of a horse trotting through the surf along Pinney’s Beach. Even without the sunset, this is a magical experience and it’s easy to arrange through the Nevis Equestrian Centre. There are regular morning and afternoon treks for novices and experienced riders, but the 90-minute sunset ride is especially popular. As well as the beach, there are also expeditions along historic trails and up past local villages difficult to see any other way.
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6.30pm AN EVENING JOG
live d’island life!!”
Early evening is also the ideal time for some light jogging either along the beach or the island road – you’ll see plenty of others out, particularly on the flatter west side of the island. West Indians take their athletics seriously, so even if you aren’t the next Usain Bolt, expect plenty of local support.
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• Your tour will take you on and off road or by sea... To places others can only imagine.
5.30 RUM TASTING
This is the Caribbean and our local spirit is rum, ron or rhum, depending on whether it’s from English, Spanish or Frenchspeaking countries. But which one is the best? There are almost as many varieties to choose from as there are single malt whiskies, so a tasting is the obvious way to combine some serious study with a little light imbibing. The 101 Rums Bar at Mango, part of the Four Seasons Resort, lays on a tasting every Thursday at 5.30pm, usually conducted by Mark Theron. As well as having a wealth of knowledge, Mark has just launched his own Nevis label: Clifton Estate. In high season, he also conducts rum tastings at Montpelier.
9pm TURTLE MONITORING
Three species of sea turtle are found in Nevisian waters: the hawksbill, green and leatherback, of which the first two are most likely to nest on the island’s beaches. Lemmie Pemberton and the Nevis Turtle Group are only too happy to take visitors, especially children, out on their nightly perambulations along beaches favoured as nest sites by these precious reptiles. Most lay their ping pong ball-sized eggs locally between April and November, with hatching occurring 60 days V later. ● VisitorMagazine Magazine2017 2017 9444/ /Visitor
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“I’ve lived here for a year and saw so many things i never knew existed”
• Don’t worry about beverages... You’ll find a bottomless cooler on board. • Be prepared... This isn’t a back of the bus tour. You’ll be up close and comfortable as you experience the island, nature, views, history, and abundant wildlife.
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“Do this early in your trip.”
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“So much fun, which we’d done it first”
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Recommended #1 Attraction on TripAdvisor Rating:
Nelson Springs, Nevis, West Indies 869.665.6045/6245 • info@FunkyMonkeyTours.com •FunkyMonkeyTours.com
t happened on the second dive. My ‘buddy’ gesticulated wildly, and I turned to see two hawksbill turtles mere feet away, monumental but weightless, their curved limbs stroking the water with a grace easily outmatching our own plastic fins. It was like wandering into a particularly photorealistic Pixar film. These majestic creatures are endangered, something only appreciable in principle until you see them in the flesh, in their natural habitat – which is also in need of conservation. The waters around St. Kitts and Nevis contain one of the region’s greatest treasures: the coral reef, alien, beautiful and teeming with aquatic residents. I hadn’t dived recently, but was in safe hands with Scuba Safaris Nevis, located on Oualie Beach. I brought fins, mask and snorkel; they supplied wetsuit, buoyancy compensator, regulator, tank and weight belt. At 9am, our affable and unflappable guides, Douce and Ryan, welcomed us aboard our dive boat, the Sea Monkey. I was in a group of seven, and luckily my assigned buddy was a dive instructor on holiday. Our guides explained the dive plan as
the boat zipped towards St. Kitts. We suited up, tested equipment, refreshed hand signals, and entered the ocean in ‘giant stride’ fashion, with one woman staying behind to snorkel – there’s still plenty to see up top, and you can also book Snorkel Safaris. The reef at Nags Head ranges from 15 to 75 feet below the surface. We gradually descended, spying sea urchins and schools of fish eddying around the coral-covered volcanic boulders in vivid cliques. Our guides let us explore, only corralling us when necessary. Then it was back in the boat for rest and refreshment, before powering onto the second dive site: Booby High Shoals, in the Narrows between the islands. About 40 feet down and it’s underwater rush hour, from turtles to rays, eels and occasional sharks. The adventurous can join the Four Seasons chef in lassoing, cooking and devouring spiny lobster, or try a phosphorescence-lit night dive. But whenever you go, this is a magical way to get in touch with the underwater soul of these wild, mysterious islands. ◣ Scuba Safaris: 869-469-9518; www.divenevis.com
MAGIC Scuba diving is the perfect way to explore the islands’ hidden worlds, discovers Marianka Swain
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Visitor Magazine 2017 / 97
THINGS TO DO
LIFE’S A BEACH
From the serene Caribbean to the lively Atlantic, there’s a special stretch of sand with your name on it
FRIGATE BAY SOUTH Where the action is day and night. Calm waters, casual restaurants for lunch and a lively strip of beach bars for hanging out at night. B, R, TL, S, W, SH, C FRIGATE BAY NORTH An Atlantic Ocean beach, its southeast stretch fronts an array of hotels, restaurants and condos. Further north it’s peaceful and secluded. B, R, TL, S, W, SH, C SOUTH FRIAR’S This lovely stretch of Caribbean beach offers superb bathing, an assortment of watering holes and good facilities. B, R, S, TL, W, SH, C COCKLESHELL Gaze across the Narrows to Nevis while relaxing with a cold one on this perfect white sand beach, one of the region’s best. B, R, TL, S, W, SH, N, C BANANA BAY Off limits recently because of construction, this lovely stretch of sand at the tip of the Southeast Peninsula will be accessible again with the 2017 opening of the St. Kitts Park Hyatt hotel. S, N MAJOR’S BAY An abandoned barge marks the spot for some of the island’s best snorkeling. S, N SANDY BANK BAY One of the Caribbean’s most picturesque beaches, and it’s seldom busy. SW
St. Kitts and Nevis playing a big role in dynamic young Caribbean league’s runaway success story BY GARRY STECKLES
KEY Shade – SH Snorkeling – N
Restaurant – R Watersports – W Beach Chair – C
Toilet – TL Swimming – S Bar – B
PINNEY’S BEACH The longest and busiest beach on the island is home to the exclusive Four Seasons Resort with all its amenities, as well as an abundance of beach bars and restaurants. B, R, TL, SH, W, S, N, C NISBET BEACH This mile-long strip of white sand has coconut trees slanting helter-skelter, creating the perfect picture of the quintessential Caribbean beach. B, R, TL, SH, S, N, C HURRICANE BEACH A long stretch of sand near the main road, it’s a beach meant for leisurely walks through the lapping waves. S OUALIE BEACH An A-list beach and also the water sports headquarters of Nevis. B, R, TL, SH, W, S, N, C CADES BAY A beach meant for lounging and watching the boats and catamarans scoot to and from St. Kitts. B, R, TL, SH, S, C LOVERS’ BEACH Secluded and serene, Lovers’ Beach is perfect for quiet getaways and swims. S NEWCASTLE BEACH This soft, white sand beach attracts snorkelers and swimmers looking for a shady spot to enjoy the ocean and relax. SH, S, N WINDWARD BEACH An Atlantic beach that is family friendly and great for body-surfing – but beware the riptides. S Visitor Magazine 2017 / 99
MUSIC VISITOR 20
d ronicling life in St. Kitts an After two decades of ch s ck at some fond memorie Nevis, the Visitor looks ba
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“We put out the 84-page first Visitor with clunky, square early Macintosh computers”
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It’s been 20 years since we published the first Visitor magazine and we’re still the definitive guide to the beautiful twin islands of St. Kitts and Nevis. So, with this special anniversary issue, it’s appropriate to wish ourselves a happy landmark birthday. And what better time to look back at just some of the stories we’ve printed, the people who’ve written them and a few of the changes we’ve witnessed in our Caribbean paradise and the world at large. And what changes they have been. We first saw the light of day long before Facebook and Twitter were even thought of, when Bill Clinton was serving his first term as U.S. president, when the internet was in its infancy, Google was a newborn and we were all about to get hooked on mobile phones. We were still using film in our cameras, we put out the 84-page first Visitor with clunky, square early Macintosh computers, we were buying our music on CDs and the Marriott Resort, which was to change the face of the federation’s tourism industry, was seven years away from opening its doors. Oh yes, and sugar was still king, even if the industry that had virtually defined St. Kitts and Nevis for centuries was barely a decade from being consigned to the history books. Changing times indeed. But some things, we’re happy to say, haven’t changed. Turn the pages of the inaugural issue of the Visitor and the first advertisement you’ll see is for Caribelle Batik at Romney Manor. Twenty years later, Caribelle is celebrating four decades in business in St. Kitts, and we’re delighted to be carrying a special supplement in this, our own landmark birthday issue, marking 40 years of excellence and success for Maurice Widdowson and his dedicated staff. That first Visitor issue also ran a story on a fledgling event that was to be-
If you’d like to write for the Visitor, or to advertise in the federation’s best-read publication, you can contact publisher Salisha Khan by email at email@example.com 102 / Visitor Visitor Magazine Magazine 2017 2017 134 /
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The Caribbean is a photographer’s dream – and the sister islands of St. Kitts and Nevis are where that dream comes true. Vibrant colours, wonderful faces, breathtaking scenery and much more await you and your camera in our tropical paradise. We asked the Visitor’s designer/photographer, Sarah Freeman, to capture her lens’ eye view of island life, and the pictures on these pages are her favourites of the hundreds she shot.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY SARAH FREEMAN
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KIDS SMILES It’s hard to resist the million watt smiles of St Kitts’ youngest residents, who are snapped out and about on the sunshine island
Want t your ch o see back at ild smiling you in t Visitor Magazin he next e? Be su to visit re ou at ‘St.Kit r Facebook Pag e ts & Ne vis Visit Magazin or e’ to ge t all the det ails
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Its liquid is also a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates. These vitamins are essential in the sense that the human body requires them from external sources to replenish. Coconut water carries a very good amount of electrolyte potassium to help replenish electrolyte deficiency in the body. Fresh coconut water has a small amount of vitamin-C. Vitamin C is a water-soluble anti-oxidant.
TIPS ON FASTING
I have guided many people interested in leading a healthier lifestyle and even those who wish to reverse specific diseases through detoxing. Inspired by our islands’ natural resources and the wide variety of holistic healers available, the result of the detox is usually profoundly life changing. After you have consulted with your doctor, try these tips to help your journey to divine health: Plan ahead: source a reliable coconut water supplier. Inspirational tools such as books, music and documentaries can emotionally prepare and inspire you for a week of discipline and personal growth
EASE IN AND OUT OF YOUR FAST
Join wellness expert Salisha Khan on a journey to a healthier, happier lifestyle
ur ancestors lived in a world of stress and scarcity. Food was not always available and intermittent fasting was common. This form of life left a genetic blueprint with key information about our health and wellbeing. Just about all researchers agree that intermittent fasting reduces stress, enhances cellular repair and appears to be a key strategy for anti-aging and longevity. Consuming one-third to one-half fewer calories will result in less inflammation, lower blood cholesterol, lower blood pressure and a longer life. One theory is that allowing cells to “hibernate” gives them a chance to repair any damage, while cells and tissue will age more slowly and problems that could lead to cancer and poor health will be headed off. Twice a year, usually January as it’s the beginning of the year and September my 108 / Visitor Magazine 2016
birth month, I journey towards divine health by detoxing my mind, body and soul through the process of coconut water fasting. St. Kitts and Nevis is the perfect healing heaven. With volcanic minerals as its North, calm Caribbean beaches as its south and sunshine 80 per cent of the year, we have all the natural resources needed to heal the body, rejuvenate the soul and inspire the mind. Why coconut water? Here are some its healing benefits:
Research studies suggest that cytokinins (e.g., kinetin and trans-zeatin) in coconut water have significant anti-ageing, anticarcinogenic and anti-thrombotic (anti-clot formation) properties. Coconut water has been generally offered to patients with dehydration to replace
the fluid loss from the gastrointestinal tract. The presence of biological constituents like amino acids, enzymes, minerals and fatty acids may account for a higher osmolarity than water. It is also rich in natural simple sugars, electrolytes and amino acids. This well-balanced fluid composition, along with much-needed calories, would be an ideal drink to correct dehydration conditions and promote healing at a DNA level. Coconut water is composed of many naturally occurring bioactive enzymeswhich aid in restoring digestion and metabolism. Despite being very light in consistency, coconut water proportionately has better composition of minerals such as calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium and zinc than some fruit juices – for example orange juice.
Eat light soups, fresh organic fruit, vegetables and teas. No alcohol, caffeine, animal products or processed foods is recommended for two to three days before and after the fast. This time is as important as the fast itself. Begin each day of your fast by drinking warm water with organic lemon juice, followed by as much coconut water, filtered water and fresh organic local teas as needed for seven days. Note that chewing activates digestive enzymes
RELAX INTO IT Rest is important for deep cellular repair. No need to do anything besides take care of yourself. SWITCH OFF FROM THE OUTSIDE, FOCUS ON THE INSIDE
The outside world can be loud and invasive. Spend time on long walks in nature to boost your metabolism, mineralise by swimming in the ocean or practice Yoga. Keeping a journal, meditation or listening to soothing music can also be extremely healing. Many emotions tend to surface during this time.
DETOX TREATMENTS You can promote the detox process with a variety of body treatments. Lymph-phatic massages are highly recommended. Dry brush or exfoliate skin to rid of dead cell buildup. Your skin is the largest living organ of your body. All skin care products should be organic during the fast.
GETTING IT ALL OUT As your digestive tract is given the chance to repair, excretion is not a normal function of fasting, therefore the use of enemas or a colonic can be beneficial in the release of toxins from the body. Infrared saunas can also allow toxins to exit through the pores of your skin. Swimming is suggested to mineralise on the day of these services. ENJOY THE JOURNEY As you ease out of your fast, slowly introduce foods that are easy to digest. You may want to consider a meal plan that includes more fresh organic foods as well V as a regular movement routine that you enjoy. ●
SERVICES ENERGY HEALING, CHIROPRACTIC, CHAKRA CLEARING, INFRA RED SAUNAS Carib Wellness Center St Kitts • Eden Life Center Nevis, www.completecaribwellness.com MASSAGE THERAPY AND NATURAL TREATMENTS The Chop Shop (Facebook) • Simply Life Holistic Health, firstname.lastname@example.org INSPIRING LOCATIONS Ottley’s Plantation, www.ottleys.com • Turtle Beach Cottage, www.stkittsrealty.com • Golden Rock, www.goldenrocknevis.com • Oualie Beach Resort, www.oualiebeach.com COCONUT WATER VENDORS Basseterre Market • Charlestown Market NATURAL ORGANIC PRODUCTS Itiba LLC • Yaphene (facebook) • Myrtles Healthy Beginnings Nevis CERTIFIED YOGA INSTRUCTORS Salisha Khan (private classes), email@example.com • Ital Creations (facebook) • Royal St Kitts Hotel, www.royalstkittshotel.com • St Kitts Marriott Resort and Spa, www.marriott.com TRADITIONAL CHINESE TREATMENTS Dr. Lisa Skerritt • drlisaskerritt@gmail. com • 869.762.0632
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THINGS TO DO Golden Rock’s spectacular gardens are a symphony of vibrant tropical plants, flowers and trees
Palm guru is on a botanical mission in Nevis BY GARRY STECKLES
othing says ‘Caribbean’ like a palm tree swaying lazily in a tropical breeze. They’re a symbol of life in our sun-kissed islands, and many of the world’s 2,500-plus species of palm flourish here. They flourish so naturally, in fact, that we often leave them to their own devices in our gardens, relying on a mix of fertile Caribbean soil and plenty of sun and rain to keep them happy and healthy. Not Marshall Horsman. And most certainly not when it comes to the lush Nevis gardens where he plies his horticultural consulting trade with a mix of skill and enthusiasm that has earned him a reputation as one of the world’s leading authorities on tropical flora in general and palm trees in particular. Horsman, a 60ish American, travels to Nevis from his Florida home every few weeks on a mission that’s in synch with St. Kitts and Nevis’s growing commitment to ‘green’ tourism. He flies here to administer his own brand of horticultural TLC to the spectacular grounds of Golden Rock, one of Nevis’s legendary quartet of plantation inns, and also finds the time to help maintain the gardens of two private residences, one of which, The Mount, is reputed to have the largest collection of palms – one worth a cool US$20,000 – of any home in the Caribbean.
look, incorporating native Caribbean species with some exotic pieces, and with a lot of colour and textures. No place does this better than Golden Rock, without question one of my favourite gardens to work on and walk through. It is literally a botanical garden in its own right.” Horsman, whose consulting services are in constant demand, has an extensive Caribbean CV that includes major landscape projects at the Grand Palazzo hotel (now the Ritz-Carlton) and Stouffer Grand Beach Resort in St. Thomas, the Atlantis and One&Only resorts in The Bahamas and Cap Juluca in Anguilla.
“I prefer to work on gardens with a natural look, incorporating native Caribbean species with some exotic pieces”
At Golden Rock, about a third of the way up the north-east slope of 3,232-foot Nevis Peak, the 10-plus acres of one of the Caribbean’s most exotic gardens are the creation of the award-winning Miami-based landscape architect Raymond Jungles. They’re an almost sensual symphony of vibrant tropical plants, flowers and trees, among them more than 20 species of palms – including a rare Cuban ‘Old Man’ coccothrinax crinita. It’s all quite stunning – and Marshall Horsman is determined to keep it that way. Horsman says the key elements of his maintenance programme “are mainly nutritional and consist of applying the right balanced fertiliser on the soil and cocktail sprays on leaves. “My scope is beyond just palms. I assist in plant nutrition, plant pathology, water quality, soil science and anything in regards to keeping a healthy landscape in the tropics. “I prefer to work on gardens with a natural 110 / Visitor Magazine 2017
When he’s not busy tending to the Golden Rock gardens, Horsman is at his happiest listening to roots reggae music – Peter Tosh, Culture, Burning Spear, Gregory Isaacs, Steel Pulse and Bob Marley are among his favourites – while savouring a snifter of fine Caribbean rum. The Golden Rock’s magnificent mountain greenery is just one example of the growing importance of ‘green’ attractions in Nevis and its sister island of St. Kitts. Others include the Botanical Gardens of Nevis and a new kid on the botanical block, the St. Kitts Eco-Park. The Botanical Gardens, located in Montpelier Estate, feature immaculately tended tropical flora from around the world, on display in the Orchid Garden, Cactus Garden, Tropical Fruit Garden, Vine Garden, Herb Garden and Butterfly Garden, along with the spectacular Rainforest Conservatory, modeled on the famous Palm House in England’s Kew Gardens. The conservatory is home to an array of tropical rainforest plants and also to its resident parrots. The visual delights are by no means the Botanical Gardens’ only attractions. Its elegant restaurant, Oasis in the Gardens, specialises in authentic Thai cuisine, while its Galleria Gift Shop is one of the finest boutiques in the Eastern Caribbean. The Eco-Park in St. Kitts, which opened in 2014, is another notable addition to the federation’s growing roster of ‘green’ attractions. The 20-acre park, a joint venture of the government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the government of Taiwan, features row after row of meticulously tended fruit trees, shrubs and flowers, the biggest greenhouse complex in the Caribbean, two elegant visitor-centre pavilions and rose and cactus gardens. Located in the north-western region of St. Kitts, the Eco-Park is also a place where young local farmers learn to master V horticultural techniques. ● Visitor Magazine 2017 / 111
Discover & Explore St. Kitts Eco-Park â€Ś Natural Beauty, Green Energy, Festivals, Weddings & More.
FB page: St. Kitts Ecopark Website: ecopark.kn Contact: +1-869-465-8755 firstname.lastname@example.org
ART & MUSIC ◥ WHEN IT COMES TO CULTURE, WE’RE SECOND TO NONE ◣
iFlamboyant is an art, craft and fashion exhibition that aims to nurture and
stimulate the growth of local artistry by showcasing our nation’s talent via creative
exhibitions. It will encourage the networking of various artistic personalities and seek
to engender a participatory attitude in the preservation of our federation’s traditional
crafts while stimulating an innovative spirit. Presently, there is no formally established
creative industry in St. Kitts and Nevis, and it is our endeavour to embark on and engage the discussion of creative and cultural industries and what these mean for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. Sustainable development hangs on the pillars of innovation, and iFlamboyant is providing an avenue to showcase our local innovations.
Masquerade clowns are among the traditional aspects of Carnival that reflect our history and culture
◄ MARINA ANN SIMMONS
It took some persuading by Marina Ann’s art teacher to get her to attend art school in her native Georgetown, Guyana. Luckily for us, she relented – and graduated with a degree in graphic arts and painting. Says Marina Ann: “I love to work with nature, which makes St. Kitts and Nevis the ideal spot to create my paintings of beaches, Green Vervet monkeys and historical buildings.” 869-669-2899, email@example.com, Facebook: Marina Ann Art
DEBORAH CRAMER ► Inspired by her wire-twister jeweller mother, Kittitian Deborah kicked off her career as a hobby, making jewellery for friends and family. She’s progressed to fashioning silver and copper necklaces and bracelets with leather, pearls, semi-precious stones and beads. “I’m trying to master the art of patina,” she says. “Making my jewellery is a form of therapy, allowing me to be creative.” 869-762-2486, firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook: Jewels of the Caribbean
MARINA ANN SIMMONS
It took some persuading by Marina Ann’s art teacher to get her to attend art school in her native Georgetown, Guyana. Luckily for us, she relented – and graduated with a degree in graphic arts and painting. Says Marina Ann: “I love to work with nature, which makes St. Kitts and Nevis the ideal spot to create my paintings of beaches, Green Vervet monkeys and historical buildings.” 869-669-2899, email@example.com, Facebook: Marina Ann Art
▼ DAVINA BAPTISTE
Davina, from New Road, St. Kitts, has a diverse line in mixed-media jewellery of resin, wire, dried flowers and silver clay, along with hand-painted and colourful leather goods. “My pieces – that incorporate elements from nature – are designed to be classy, creative and fun, making a great addition to any accessory collection,” she says. 869-760 -8594, firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook: luxecaribe
Clear light and vivid hues have always attracted creative people to the tropics. The sister islands of St. Kitts and Nevis are no exception, with talented painters and craftspeople producing an array of fine artwork. Cheryl Markosky reports
► SASHA ‘THE ARTIST’ HERBERT
Art’s always been a big part of Sasha’s life, from designing her own popsicle stick dolls’ house, to current portrayals of the finest details that “can make any image pop” in her realist paintings of sandy shorelines, flowers and breadfruit. Home for Sasha is the St. Kitts capital of Basseterre. “I’m really enthused by our beautiful local scenery,” she reports. 869-665-5458, email@example.com, sashatheartist.portfoliobox.net 116 / Visitor Magazine 2017
▲ CAROLITA CANTRELL
Carolita, who moved to Nevis from North Carolina 11 years ago, describes her abstract, figurative and dream-like paintings as eclectic and part of a process that’s been going on since she was a child of three. “I had to take a nap every day and was given permission to draw instead of sleeping – a tradition I’ve carried on in many media.” She adds that the free spirit of the islands continues to inspire her. 869-668-4608, firstname.lastname@example.org Visitor Magazine 2017 / 117
ARTISTS DEBORAH TYRELL ►
Originally from Trinidad, Nevis has been home to Deborah for more than 30 years. Her ‘collage applique’ speciality uses fabric pieces to form abstract and figurative artworks. “My art was born out of a desire to have more locally made items available for islanders and visitors,” she says. 869-662-6778, email@example.com, www.nevisislandliving.com
◄ CHANTEL BRENNAN-MARTIN
A ‘made in Nevis...with love’ tag means only one thing – the Craddock Road workshop run by American Chantel and her Nevisian husband, Virgil (Lightnin’). Capturing Caribbean land and sea elements, Chantel produces jewellery with “a peaceful vibe and a touch of Nevis – seeds, shells and my specialty, beachscavenged sea glass hard-wired into pendants”. 869-764-1093, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.pieceofpeacejewelry.com, Facebook: pieceofpeacejewelry
▲ KAREN BERRY
Born in England and raised in Canada, Karen has lived on St. Kitts for 20 years. A former tailor, today she’s a jeweller fashioning sterling silver, copper and sea glass ‘one-of-a-kind’ items. “I’m influenced by shape and colour, and just as each piece of sea glass is unique, so are the wearers of my designs,” 869-760-7502, email@example.com, Facebook: Beekaren Designs
“He shapes life-size carvings from substantial volcanic rocks, as well as more diminutive pieces from smaller stones”
◄ ANGELA FENTON
Arriving on St. Kitts five years ago from England with her Kittitian husband, Stedroy, Angela produces handmade items crafted from materials that wash ashore. Pieces formed from island sea glass and coral, sea fans are a hot ticket, while unusual items – ear cuffs, anklets and barefoot sandals – are equally popular. “I also work with paper, cement and up-cycling bottles to create candle-holders, wind chimes and vases,” says Angela, who plans to open an online. AkuaAwesome shop in 2017. 869-762-7332, firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook: akuacreations
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MARVIN CHAPMAN ►
Nevisian born-and-bred, Marvin Chapman has transposed his interest in physics and maths to producing fascinating rock sculptures. He shapes life-size carvings from substantial volcanic rocks, as well as more diminutive pieces from smaller stones. “It’s nice to reflect the island through figures of local monkeys and sea turtles,” he says. 869-663-5636, Charlestown Gallery, V Charlestown, Nevis ● Visitor Magazine Magazine 2017 2017 // 119 65 Visitor
here’s nothing like a good music festival, and I’ve been lucky enough to attend more than my fair share of them. My fond memories include dozens of scintillating performances – think legends like Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis and Etta James – at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, and a whole lot more – think Gregory Isaacs, Lucky Dube and Peter Tosh – at Jamaica’s late and sadly lamented Reggae Sunsplash, the greatest reggae festival of them all. But many of my most vivid musical memories are from the St. Kitts Music Festival, which celebrated its landmark 20th anniversary in 2016. And there’s a key word in its name that explains why it’s so special. The word is music. Not jazz. Not reggae. Not pan. Not hip-hop. Not calypso. Not gospel. Not salsa. Not soca. Not country. Not one, that is, but all. And then some. I heard the festival’s opening notes on the evening of Wednesday, June 26, 1996, and they were played by the Su Wen-Ching Chinese Ensemble, in full stage regalia and performing with traditional instruments. Their presence conveyed the instant message that this wasn’t going to be a run-of-the-musical-mill festival. Chinese classical music, I can assure you, is a rarity in this part of the world. Since that momentous launch, the St. Kitts Music Festival has featured a smorgasbord of
We had fun galore at the first Music Festival. Two decades later,
genres ranging from traditional country to classic calypso, from steel pan to African jazz, from gospel to hip-hop, Plus, of course, substantial helpings of soca, calypso and reggae. The success of the festival is a source of enormous and understandable pride for the people of St. Kitts, an island with no previous experience of staging major international cultural events. And the festival’s achievements are a source of particular satisfaction to Dwyer G. Astaphan, its main architect. Astaphan, who was St. Kitts’ minister of tourism at the time, has a simple explanation of how he came up with the something-for-everyone formula. “I didn’t think it would be enough if we had just another jazz festival – I felt we needed to have a large range of musical genres.” A couple of decades later, a look back at
“The success of the festival is a source of enormous and understandable pride for the people of St. Kitts”
some of the musicians who have played at the festival is testimony to the wisdom of that philosophy. Fondly remembered performers from festivals past include Hugh Masekela, the South African flugelhorn maestro; the late Dennis Brown, the crown prince of reggae; Bunny Wailer, the only living member of the original
MUSIC and we’re still having fun BY GARRY STECKLES
Wailers; Burning Spear, another of roots reggae’s great survivors; funk and R&B veterans Kool and the Gang; country superstar Kenny Rogers; hip-hop legend Wyclef Jean; soul stalwarts Peabo Bryson, the Manhattans, Roberta Flack, the Temptations, Freddie Jackson, the O’Jays, Toni Braxton, Dionne Warwick, Sister Sledge, the Isley Brothers, Lionel Richie and Percy Sledge; calypso and soca giants Sparrow, David Rudder, Stalin, Superblue, Explainer, Machel Montano, Relator, Calypso Rose, Bunji Garlin, Shadow, Alison Hinds, Crazy, Shurwayne Winchester, Destra Garcia, Roy Cape, Baron and Arrow; reggae’s Culture, Tony Rebel, Lady Saw, Leroy Sibbles, Marcia Griffiths, Beres Hammond, Beenie Man, Aswad, Pluto Shervington, Ernie Smith, Buju Banton, Bounty Killer, Steel Pulse, Sizzla, Lloyd Parks and We the People, Shaggy, Tar-
rus Riley, Boris Gardiner, Freddie McGregor, Morgan Heritage, Damian Marley, Stephen Marley, Inner Circle, John Holt and Maxi Priest; local favourites Ellie Matt, Crucial Bankie, King Konris, Socrates, Grandmasters, Meeko, Small Axe, Jazzique, Nu-Vybes, Masud Sadiki, Alex Duncan, Infamus and Zemenfes Kidus; jazz notables Earl Klugh and the Caribbean Jazz Project; pannist Andy Narrell; saxophone virtuoso Arturo Tappin; crossover hit-makers Tessanne Chin and Sean Paul; mainstream hit-makers Air Supply and John Legend; gospel’s Mighty Clouds of Joy and Carlene Davis, and Haiti’s renowned Tabou Combo. If that’s not something for everyone, I don’t know what is. My personal favourites over the years? That’s tough, but I’d have to vote for Culture
in 1997, Hugh Masekela in 1998 and homegrown reggae legend Crucial Bankie in 2016. I wrote a story about the first Music Festival in the first issue of this magazine. In it I enthused that “…We had music that made us dance and music that made us think. We had Arturo Tappin and Roy Cape’s All-Stars. We had Inner Circle and Tabou Combo. We had goat water and we had a beer or two. We had Small Axe and Nu-Vybes. We had a full moon and we had fun.” Two decades later, we’re still having fun. Footnote: if you’ve ticked off the years from 1996 to 2016 and are wondering how come the 2016 festival wasn’t the 21st, the explanation’s simple: the festival missed a year in 2000 because we were hosting Carifesta, the region’s biggest celebration of arts and V culture. ● Visitor Magazine 2017 / 121
Carnival revellers in their finery getting into the street action Photographer Bjorn Bassue
Left and right, performers at the Nevis Blues Festival; centre, masquerade clowns at Nevis Culturama
HOT, HOT, HOT Festivals calendar has something for every taste BY GARRY STECKLES
rom blues on the beach to jamming in the street, from scorching Latin rhythms to celebrations of our rich culture, St. Kitts and Nevis’s calendar of festivals and related events gets more crowded with each passing year. Following is a guide to some of the best of them.
CARNIVAL IN ST. KITTS
Uninhibited street jamming is probably the most popular single element of St. Kitts’ annual Carnival, but ‘Sugar Mas’ is also an important vehicle for celebrating the island’s history, culture and music. The roots of Carnival, in fact, can be traced back to Africa, evolving as it does from the days of slavery when plantation workers were allowed a little time off over the Christmas season. They used their precious days of rest to parody their masters in song and dance, music and mime, much of it heavily influenced by their West African roots, in masquerades that became known as ‘Christmas Sports’, the forerunner of what we now know as Carnival. Carnival has changed a lot over the years, with an increasing emphasis on the street action, but a number of troupes continue to champion traditional masquerades, Carnival is held every year over Christmas and New Year, although the build-up starts
many weeks earlier. The eagerly awaited street action kicks off with J’Ouvert Morning on Boxing Day and winds up with Last Lap on Jan. 2. Other major Carnival attractions include the competition for the Calypso Monarch title and the battle for the Road March crown – the accolade for the song that’s most popular with the revelers.
The name alone tells you what Culturama is all about. Nevis’s annual festival of roots, tradition and culture features poetry, masquerades, theatre, music, local food and family reunions and takes place around the first Monday and Tuesday in August, when the people of the island celebrate the freeing of their ancestors from centuries of slavery. And yes, there’s also uninhibited street jamming, but even the bacchanal has a cultural connotation, starting with the Emancipation J’Ouvert Jump-up and winding up with the Cultural Street Parade and Last Lap. Like St. Kitts’ Carnival, Culturama also features hotly contested competitions for the Calypso Monarch and Road March crowns.
NEVIS BLUES FESTIVAL
Blues on the beach, starring some of the
genre’s finest musicians, has been a major Nevis success story. The enthusiastic reception for this fledgling festival in its first two years has proved, emphatically, that there’s an eager audience for the blues in Nevis … to say nothing of the fans coming over by boat from St. Kitts to lend their support. The festival, which had a successful launch at Oualie Beach in 2015 and an even more enthusiastically received second edition in 2016, returns on April 7 and 8 of 2017 at the same venue. The lineup is expected to include a worldclass pianist/organist and a harmonica player to complement the guitars that dominate the genre. The first two festivals featured top blues performers such as Ian Siegal, Justin Merrick, Zac Harmon and Denise Gordon.
NEVIS MANGO FESTIVAL
Another tasty item on the Nevis events calendar is the island’s annual mango festival, which celebrates the delights of what many connoisseurs swear are the world’s most succulent varieties of this quintessentially tropical fruit. The festival, which was launched in 2014, takes place in July, and the 2016 edition featured a ‘mango madness’ street fair in Charlestown’s Main Street, several dinners Visitor Magazine 2017 / 123
Left to right: Nevis Mango Festival; Bubbles on the Beach; a juggler at Spice Fest on Cockleshell Beach
with celebrity chefs showcasing innovative mango recipes, a mango feast featuring demonstrations by local chefs and a fruit festival starring a wide range of dishes and drinks made with locally grown tropical fruits.
There’s something for just about every taste at Spice Fest, an annual celebration of food, drink, art, fashion, music and partying at the Spice Mill Restaurant on St. Kitts’ Cockleshell Beach, one of the Eastern Caribbean’s finest. Held over three days in April, the festival draws crowds eager to sample local, regional and international cuisine, check out the work of some of the nation’s most talented artists, groove to island music and admire the tropical fashions on display.
A little party that grew into one of the region’s biggest festivals in just a few years, St. Kitts’ Latin Fiesta is a success story that happened
almost by accident. This festival dates back to 2010, when members of the island’s Latino community decided to throw a beach party to share their music and their food with local friends. It was supposed to be a one-off occasion, but was such a success it’s been held every October since then, and the partygoers have multiplied from a few hundred to a few thousand. The big attractions? Piquant Latin food, sizzling Latin music and smooth Latin dancing. The event has moved on to bigger venues, but they’re still dancing to salsa and merengue and it’s still a decidedly Latin party.
The St. Kitts Music Festival is a three-day event that always ends on a Saturday night … but thousands of energetic party people haven’t had enough music and dancing. Enter White Sands, the festival’s official ‘cool-down party’.
Left to right: Dancing on the beach at Carambola’s White Sands party; music action at Latin Fiesta; a belly dancer at Spice Fest
The Sunday evening post-festival extravaganza attracts thousands of dedicated party-goers, all resplendent in elegant white clothing, congregating on one of the region’s finest beaches, South Friar’s, and dancing under the stars to the sounds of reggae and soca at the ritzy Carambola Beach Club. White Sands also features live performances by some of the biggest names in Caribbean music – past headliners have included Alison Hinds, Duane Stephenson and Bunji Garlin. Then there’s the swimwear competition, featuring sizzling beach outfits … all white, of course.
VEUVE CLICQUOT’S BUBBLES ON THE BEACH
Bubbles on the Beach is a convivial gathering at an elegant beachfront location, an annual opportunity for savouring exquisite food and washing it down with limitless bottles of Veuve Clicquot one of the world’s finest V champagnes. ●
LIVE MUSIC breeze. 869-664-6446 / 764-5300
MONTPELIER PLANTATION AND BEACH
Montpelier’s live entertainment schedule includes the lively soca-pop of Gharlic, who entertains the crowd at the elegant Nevis hostelry’s popular sunset barbecue on Monday evenings at Montpelier Beach. Fabulous food straight off the grill, a fine beach and great music … to steal a line from Ira Gershwin, who could ask for anything more? 869-469-3462
The ultra-chic SALT Plage, on Whitehouse Bay on the Caribbean coast of St. Kitts’ Southeast Peninsula, offers a variety of live music during the busy winter season. The dynamic J’nysis Band, with a mix of soca, reggae, R’n’B and pop, are a regular attraction, playing on Fridays, the busiest day of the week, and Sundays, which also feature the bar’s popular pig roast. J’nysis are also on the menu on Sundays in the quieter summer season. So is the pig roast. 869-466-7221.
SPICE MILL RESTAURANT
LIVE & LOCAL
One of St. Kitts’ most popular upmarket beach establishments, Spice Mill features live music on Sunday afternoons with the Limitless Band, the Latin rhythms of Havana Express and the talented pannist Nigel Prentice in rotation. Limitless was formed by the late and sadly missed Kittitian singer-songwriter
In search of that special musical vibe BY GARRY STECKLES
ive music’s always a treat, and it’s a particularly pleasant experience in St. Kitts and Nevis, partly because of the cool Caribbean vibes at the bars, restaurants and night spots where it’s an attraction and partly because our islands are home to so many talented musicians. Following are just a few of the establishments that regularly feature live bands.
ESMIE’S SUNSHINE SNACKETTE
String band music, which has its roots in West Africa and holds a cherished place in our cultural heritage, is the Saturday night attraction at Esmie’s, in Eden Browne on Nevis’s east coast. The popular Sugar Hill String Band’s captivating melodies will take you back in time as you relax with a cold one and enjoy the laid-back vibe and Atlantic 126 / Visitor Magazine 2017 2016
Masud Sadiki, and its members are equally at home with soca or roots reggae – they’re one of the few bands who can successfully cover the songs of the great Gregory Isaacs. Spice Mill’s spectacular location on the Southeast Peninsula’s Cockleshell Beach is a bonus. 869-762-2160 / 765-6706
MR. X’S SHIGGIDY SHACK AND WATER TOURS
Mr. X’s cool and casual establishment has long been a fixture on St. Kitts’ South Frigate Bay beach bar ‘Strip’, catering to an eclectic mix of locals, expats and visitors. And its popularity owes much to its varied live entertainment, particularly on Thursday evenings when two of the island’s leading bands, KC 5 and Royalties, alternate. Both keep the dance floor packed, with any overflow gravitating to the sandy beach just a few feet away. 869-633-4578.
One of St. Kitts’ best-loved beach bars, the ultra-casual Shipwreck has been in business longer than any other establishment on South Friar’s Beach. Popular with locals, expats and tourists, Shipwreck is particularly lively on
Sunday afternoons, when the vibe kicks up a notch with two excellent bands – Foreplay and Sex on the Beach – alternating. 869-764-7475
This popular spot in St. Kitts’ historic village of Old Road is renowned for the freshest of sea food – the proprietors are also fishermen – and live music adds to the always convivial ambiance on Wednesdays and Fridays. Wednesdays feature the Limitless Band’s reggae and soca vibes. Limitless and the Rhapsody Band alternate on Fridays, while the ever-popular Small Axe are featured at occasional special events. 869-466-7535
This open-air Italian restaurant in Frigate Bay features a convivial bar, and the positive vibe peaks on weekends when live music is on the menu. A favourite hang-out with students living nearby, Splash showcases the considerable talents of two of St. Kitts’ most popular bands, Foreplay and KC 5. Splash is located in the Royal St. Kitts Hotel complex, just across the road from the Marriott. V 869-465-8651 ●
S P I C E M I L L ’ S B A C K YA R D E N Boozies on the Beach is the newest tradition on the lively Frigate Bay Strip. We offer the best food you will ever eat at a bar and a varied list of drinks in a decidedly relaxed but elegant vibe. Boozies opens every day from 12 noon to 12 mid-night on weekdays and a little later on weekends. Drop by and enjoy one of our daily specials! When the sun sets, the chef turns it up with a great mix of local and international favourites. Boozies is a great place to chill with friends and family, watch all your sports or watch the sun go down!
BEER & BBQ Experience St. Kitts’ first Beer Yarden and Smoke House Grill. Local & Craft Beer Yarden and Smoke House, where Grinding and Rubbing is the flavour of the Day.
Contact: spicemillrestaurant.com • 869 . 762 . 2160
Carib Brewery gives back to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis
cold Carib beer on a steamy tropical afternoon or evening ranks right up there on any list of things to savour and enjoy in St. Kitts and Nevis. And that beer is at its delicious, refreshing best when you drink it local style – straight from the bottle. But few of us, while happily indulging in this island delight, pause to reflect that what we’re quaffing is not only bringing us pleasure, it’s doing good. Lots of good for lots of Kittitians and Nevisians. The people who make that beastly cold Carib are among the nation’s leading benefactors to everything from education to culture, from grass-roots sport to music festivals, from health benefits to social activities.
130 / Visitor Magazine 2017
And let’s not forget that Carib Brewery is also one of the country’s leading employers, with more than 110 people on payroll, all of whom are proud of the impressive array of products they make and distribute and of the company’s exemplary charitable activities. The full product line consists of 16 alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages: Carib Lager, Carib Pilsner, Carib Radler, Stag Lager, Skol Lager, Guinness Stout, Mackeson Stout, Royal Extra Stout, Vita Malt, Giant Malt, Smalta, Ting, Peardrella, Ginseng Up, Smirnoff Ice and Heineken. The brewery is also the distributor for all British American Tobacco products in the federation. St. Kitts Breweries Ltd., as the company was first called, was incorporated in October of 1960. In 1997, the name was changed to Carib Brewery St. Kitts-Nevis Limited. From the beginning, its success story has embraced a corporate philosophy of giving back. Says Andre Amritt, Brands Manager: “Carib Brewery believes in St. Kitts-Nevis and its people, which is evident from the company’s corporate and social responsibility. Consistent contributions to sporting and educational activities throughout the country remain unmatched. These activities include the sports days of all the primary and secondary schools in the federation, cricket and football academies, the Nevis Fishing Tournament and essay and debating competitions. “The company is an avid supporter of social and cultural activities by way of sponsorship of all the many village and community festivals in addition to its major sponsorship of the island’s signature festivals such as Culturama in Nevis and Carnival in St. Kitts. For the past 20 years we have been a major sponsor of the annual St. Kitts Music Festival and more recently a major sponsor of one of the newest events, the Nevis Blues Festival. “We also support many charitable initiatives such as church fairs, Rotary Club fundraisers, the Alzheimer’s Association awareness drive, Red Cross fund-raisers and other events arranged by charitable organisations and individuals. We also sponsor the public hospital’s blood bank by providing each donor V with a free Vita Malt.” ●
DINING OUT ◥ THE FRESHER THE BETTER IS OUR FOOD PHILOSOPHY◣
Discover a whole new approach to beach side pampering at Carambola Beach Club. Located on an exquisite stretch of Caribbean beach, our luxury hacienda-style restaurant At Carambola Beach Club, we create bespoke beach weddings, birthdays and corporate events. From intimate gatherings to grand celebrations, our experienced team will ensure a successful affair. Open for Lunch and Dinner. For reservations or to book an event, please call869.465.9090 or email email@example.com www.carambolabeachclub.com
Nevis’s Golden Rock Inn is renowned for its innovative cuisine featuring the freshest of locally caught fish and lobster along with fruits and vegetables from neighbouring growers
Farm-to-table cuisine, featuring locally grown produce, is one of many attractions of the flourishing dining-out scene in St. Kitts and Nevis. The pictures on these pages showcase one of St. Kitts’ finest growers of quality produce, Plum Tree Farms in Cayon
FARM to FORK Our restaurateurs are creating menus that deliver a sense of place, discovers Cheryl Markosky
growing number of eatery owners on St. Kitts and Nevis are favouring local farmers over deep freezers in an effort to serve the freshest possible ingredients that have the least impact on the environment. Instead of clocking up thousands of food miles shipping in entire shopping lists, they’re forging strong relationships with growers on the islands, who are cultivating bright, seasonal produce. On a mission to make kitchens more sustainable and island-centric, some chefs are visiting local markets several times a week. They’re also encouraging farmers to grow anything from lettuce, beans and
134 / Visitor Magazine 2017
DINING corn to heirloom vegetables, such as red frill mustard, Malabar spinach, Kittitian corn and ribless okra. Growing fresh food right on the premises is a growing trend. You can spot faithful farmto-table tendencies on the northern side of St. Kitts at Kittitian Hill, where visitors can help on-site farmers pick mangoes and tomatoes, which are then served up for supper. Christophe Harbour, the St. Kitts megadevelopment, grows herbs for cocktails and main courses, with plans for shade houses for the resort’s own lettuces and greens, and beehives manufacturing honey. In Nevis, Montpelier Plantation and Bananas Bistro have been quietly harvesting a variety of fare in their gardens for some time now, and the Four Seasons planted a herb garden where guests can sit and watch the world go by, knowing that all they survey will eventually end up on their plates. “We’re happier to go up our trees – or someone else’s – to pluck fresh fruit for breakfast, rather than bring in oranges all the way from Florida,” says Nancy Lowell of Ottley’s Plantation Inn. Her family’s established luxury Kittitian
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“On a mission to make kitchens more sustainable and island-centric, some chefs are visiting local markets several times a week”
hostelry employs classic techniques in its cooking, but in a Caribbean fusion way. Instead of a French white butter sauce, for example, Lowell’s team whip up a mango beurre blanc, making good use of a glut of mangoes from the hotel’s grounds in the summer season. Food production has come on in leaps and bounds, too, with a farmer-agent representing smaller growers on St. Kitts. “If he doesn’t have all the tomatoes we require, then he gets them from other farmers, which means I don’t have to go to the vegetable market,” notes Lowell. And on Nevis, hydroponic farms are providing a consistent supply of lettuces, herbs and salad leaves. “Instead of farm-to-table, we’re backyardto-table,” declares Gary Colt, owner of Coconut Grove, an upper-end, beachside restaurant on Nevis’s Pinney’s Beach. “We work directly with people who grow broccoli, cauliflower, beans, peppers, carrots, celery
and herbs in their backyard gardens.” He says this ultra-local system works well, because growers plant what his restaurant needs and Coconut Grove looks after them in return. “One lady grows lettuce in her backyard. We buy all her lettuces when she cuts them – and if we don’t use all of them in the restaurant we feed our family with the leftovers. It helps her and we’re rewarded with flavoursome food.” Colt also urges visitors to the islands to try something they wouldn’t typically get at home, such as soursop, tania fritters, conch soup and local hot sauce. “Even the local bananas taste sweeter here,” he adds. Island staples make good gifts, too, he says. “Go home with local ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and nutmeg, which you can buy in the market.” They’re a reminder of your stay on St. Kitts and Nevis in farm-to-suitcase V fashion. ● Visitor Magazine 2017 / 135
On Onthe theedge edgeofofaawhite whitesand sandbeach beachwashed washedbybyturquoise turquoiseand andcyan cyanwarm warmwaters watersyouâ€™ll youâ€™ll discover discoverthe theSpice SpiceMill MillRestaurant RestaurantatatCockleshell Cockleshellbay, bay,ananutterly utterlyunique unique Caribbean Caribbeandining diningand andindigenous indigenousarchitectural architecturalexperience. experience. Opening OpeningHours Hours Lunch: (timesmay maychange changebased basedononseason) season)â€˘ â€˘Light LightFare: Fare:4:00 4:00- -6:00pm 6:00pmâ€˘ â€˘Dinner: Dinner:5:30 5:30- -9:30pm 9:30pm(closed (closedThursdays) Thursdays) Lunch:11:30 11:30- -4:00pm 4:00pm(times Reservations Reservationsstrongly stronglyrecommended recommendedfor fordinner. dinner.Tel. Tel.869.661.5906/765.6706 869.661.5906/765.6706
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FISH to DISH From the sea to the plate in just a few hours BY PETER SWAIN
n Argentina, it’s beef; in Wales, it’s the lamb. In Germany, they love pork. In China, duck is a favourite delicacy. Every culture has a meaty speciality at the heart of its cooking. Well, on St. Kitts and Nevis, our farm is the ocean so our dish of the day is fresh, succulent, locally caught fish. Most of the world takes its seafood from the freezer after factory ships have scooped up thousands of fish hundreds of miles away. We do it differently – just ask Sprat Net’s Jack Spencer. “We have two small boats, manned by a couple of guys in each, that fish for us five days a week, and just about all their catch is eaten within 48 hours,” he says proudly. And what if they don’t land a local favourite like mahi 138 / Visitor Magazine 2017
mahi? “Then it won’t be on the menu that day. We sell what we catch – simple.” The Old Road institution on St. Kitts is typical of a breed of local restaurant that prides itself on presenting diners with the finest, freshest fare. “All our wahoo, tuna, swordfish, and the other large pelagic fish, are line caught,” says Spencer. “What doesn’t go into our own kitchen we send to other restaurants like Marshall’s, the Marriott or over on Nevis to Golden Rock, Yachtsman Grill or one of the others.” One boat motors out 20 or 30 miles to fish in and around one of Jack’s five FADs. Fish aggregating devices are clumps of branches, coconut fronds, seaweed and the like anchored to the seabed, marked by a buoy with a GPS signal. Small fish are drawn to the FAD which in turn attracts larger species eager to feed on them. Fishermen trawl with several lines close to the FAD and the resulting catch ends up on the plate within hours. Spencer’s other boat stays inshore checking on lobster traps and catching smaller fish. “In high season, we can get through 600 spiny lobsters a week,” he says. His are two of about a dozen boats based in Port Zante, typically 25ft long and made locally, with fishermen on both islands operating in the same way. Roger Brisbane, owner of Spice Mill Restaurant on Cockleshell Beach on St. Kitts’ Southeast Peninsula, has no doubt about the benefits to visiting diners. “We cook our freshly caught mahi, wahoo and even marlin very lightly – the mistake is to overcook them. And when it’s done right, nothing tastes finer.” It’s also healthy and, most importantly, sustainable. “We source most of our fish directly from
“Conch is another local delicacy, often prepared as fritters or chowder”
Roger Ottley or Shotgun and a few others at Old Road – it’s important to us to know exactly who’s catching our seafood,” says Brisbane. “There are also two fisheries on St. Kitts where the catch is kept on crushed ice for restaurants and individuals to select what they need.” Local fishermen are tough. “A snapper line might have dozens of hooks on it with live bait. Repeatedly hauling that up by hand, with maybe 10 hooked fish on the line, is hard work in the hot sun,” says Brisbane. Conch is another local delicacy, often prepared as fritters or chowder. These large mollusks live at depths of up to 100ft and are collected by divers usually using scuba gear. They fill a bag down in the deep, pass it up to the boat on the surface, and the conch meat is extracted from the shell back on shore. Quite a few conch go to Bananas, up on Nev-
is Peak, where owner Gillian Smith knows what her customers want. “Visitors love fresh, locally caught fish, and compared with the Mediterranean, it’s actually good value. There are no duties and we’re supporting local fishermen.” Of course, for most of us, preparation and presentation is all-important. Bananas serves its lobster with mango butter and tropical fruit salsa, while a Four Seasons’ favourite is Peruvian-style ceviche with cilantro. One fisherman, Charles Gaskell, smokes the wahoo he catches – hard work but the taste is sensational. Elsewhere you’ll find panseared mahi in coconut oil, grouper burgers, and yellowtail snapper with ginger garlic aioli – it’s all down to the skill of the chef, and of course the fisherman. One thing is sure, when the menu says: ‘Locally caught, fresh V fish,’ you’re in for a treat. ● Visitor Magazine 2017 / 139
DINING OUT TAMARIND
Indian food has been growing in popularity in St. Kitts, and Tamarind, in Basseterre’s Port Zante shopping complex, is a welcome addition to our restaurants featuring this piquant cuisine. The menu is extensive and eclectic, with a wide selection of seafood and vegetarian dishes complementing the meat offerings. Succulent tandoori dishes are another attraction, while there’s a long list of yummy Indian breads to mop up all those delectable sauces. 869-765-9928
THE ROYAL PALM AT OTTLEY’S PLANTATION INN
FAB FOOD A guide to some of St. Kitts’ best restaurants BY GARRY STECKLES
wenty years ago, when the first Visitor was published, the St. Kitts dining out scene was dramatically different from today. There were a handful of outstanding fine-dining restaurants, along with a number of excellent and moderately priced local eateries, a smattering of pizza places and good food to be had in some hotels. But little did we realise, back then, what the next couple of decades would have in store – that we’d be nibbling on sushi on the beach, that there’d be menu options like Thai and Taiwanese, that there’d be authentic Indian delicacies and tantalising tapas to choose from. Along with much more. Following are some of our current favourite restaurants, old and new.
CARAMBOLA BEACH CLUB
This luxurious waterfront restaurant and bar on South Friar’s Beach offers goodies like succulent sushi, superb seafood and perfectly prepared duck, beef, lamb, pork and chicken dishes. Lunch and sushi menu items can be savoured on your beach lounger on one of the finest stretches of sand in the Eastern Caribbean, as can your selection from an extensive wine list. As well as serving fine food, Carambola is renowned for hosting a 140 / Visitor Magazine 2016
variety of major events, including elegant weddings on the beach and the massive White Sands ‘cool down’ party for the St. Kitts Music Festival. 869-465-9090
SPICE MILL RESTAURANT
A lively and upscale restaurant and bar spectacularly located on St. Kitts’ worldclass Cockleshell Beach, Spice Mill’s wide range of menu offerings include piquant calamari, fresh-from-the-ocean wahoo, yellowfin tuna and red snapper and todie-for thin-crust, wood-fired pizzas. The breathtaking view of Nevis is a bonus. Spice Mill is also popular for beach weddings, as well as hosting the annual Spice Fest celebration of music, arts, food and culture. 869-762-2160 / 765-6706
THE PAVILION BEACH CLUB
The flagship restaurant of the Christophe Harbour mega-development, The Pavilion epitomises fine dining. Off-the-beaten track menu offerings include rabbit sausage with black rice grits and pork chop/crispy pork belly with corn porridge, hazelnut and sherry. The location – a few feet behind Sandy Bank Bay on the Atlantic side of the Southeast Peninsula – could hardly be more
spectacular. Dinner by reservation only. 869-465-8304
One of St. Kitts’ pioneering fine-dining restaurants, Marshall’s showcases the kitchen expertise of its popular proprietor-cumchef Verral Marshall. Served in an elegant poolside location in the Horizons Villas complex in Frigate Bay, Marshall’s offerings include conch cutlets with tartar sauce, escargot in garlic butter, pan-seared Chilean sea bass, grilled jerk pork loin, ackee and saltfish and jerk lobster pasta, the last three a nod to the kitchen maestro’s Jamaican background. 869-466-8245
Innovative cuisine, exemplary service and unmatched elegance combine to make the Royal Palm a favourite for that truly special occasion. The gracious surroundings, amid the remains of an old sugar mill and with wonderful views of the east coast and Atlantic, are a bonus. The eclectic and constantly changing dinner menu might start with a sweet potato, chile and lime soup or crab salpicon on Caribbean crab cake, and move on to mains like double coconut shrimp, sesame tuna or silky Syrah short ribs of beef. 869-465-7234
OCEAN TERRACE INN
The venerable and tastefully refurbished Ocean Terrace Inn, on the outskirts of Basseterre, has been serving good food for decades and there’s nowhere better for a combination of island ambiance and islandinspired cuisine. Both the Verandah, the main dining room, and the evergreen Fisherman’s Wharf have benefitted from the recent facelift. The Verandah’s innovative menu now features tantalising Caribbean-Asian fusion cuisine, while Fisherman’s Wharf continues to offer the very freshest of locally caught seafood served straight off the grill. 869-465-2754
The authentic taste of India is the attraction at Tiranga, whose exotic spices add their distinctive flavours to the Frigate Bay diningout scene. Located in the Royal St. Kitts Hotel/ Vacation for Life hotel and condo complex opposite the Marriott, Tiranga’s modestly priced buffet option is a hit with fans of Indian cuisine who appreciate good value and food that’s several cuts above standard serveyourself fare. 869-662-5846 / 661-0202
The atmosphere’s vibrant, the food’s excellent and the bar’s always busy at Shipwreck, one of St. Kitts’ most popular beach bars for upward of two decades. The menu includes burgers, conch fritters, fish tacos, freshly caught snapper – when available – and barbecued chicken, and yes, the fries are fine. The get-upand-dance live music on Sunday afternoons is a plus. So is having the Caribbean just a few feet away on South Friar’s Beach. 869-7647200
This unpretentious beachfront restaurant in Frigate Bay’s Timothy Beach Resort is the place to go to sample local food in the heart of our tourism area. Popular with the local crowd are menu options like pot fish and fungi (made with cornmeal and okra), curried mutton and stewed or curried chicken. The Sunday evening buffet is a draw for those who appreciate good food and good value and is accompanied by live steel pan music. 869-465-8597
Farm-to-table cuisine is the mantra of The Kitchen, the opulent dining room of Kittitian Hill, a decidedly upmarket hotel development on the northern end of the island. Most of the restaurant’s produce is from Kittitian Hill’s
own farm, and it’s supplemented by locally sourced fish, seafood and meat. 869-465-7388 / 762-2270
It hasn’t been in business for long, but Poinciana has already established itself as one of the leading fine-dining restaurants in Frigate Bay. With its warm family ambiance and breezy dining deck, Poinciana’s menu offerings include mains such as grilled lobster, baked rack of lamb and linguini d’Alfredo, along with French onion soup, baked escargot and goat cheese salad among the excellent starters. 869-465-5216
ST. KITTS MARRIOTT RESORT
There’s something for every taste and every occasion at the array of restaurant options on offer at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort. Seafood lovers love Blu, where they find top-notch nautical fare along with panoramic views of the Atlantic. Meat lovers flock to the Royal Grille Steakhouse for succulent cuts of beef, and for fans of Italian fare, northern Italian cuisine is the specialty of Cucina, just off the lobby. The Calypso Restaurant features burgers, tacos, wings, salads and sandwiches as well as satisfying breakfasts, and the Marriott’s Pizza Shack is the place to go for seriously good pizzas. 869-466-1200
Panoramic views of Basseterre harbour complement the decidedly fine dining at this elegant restaurant in the upmarket Fortlands district on the fringe of the capital. An extensive and innovative lunch menu’s offerings include seafood bouillabaisse, seared lion fish and garlic conch. Among mouth-watering dinner mains you’ll find tuna sashimi and chilled shrimp, grilled, blackened or poached salmon fillet and braised venison V casserole. 869-465-9999 ●
A welcome newcomer on the Frigate Bay Italian scene, Splash’s eclectic dinner menu options range from trusty crowd-pleasers like spaghetti carbonara and veal piccata to homemade burgers, hearty sandwiches, an array of salads and fried chicken or fish. With an attractive open-air poolside location in the Royal St. Kitts Hotel/Vacation for Life complex, Splash also serves breakfast and lunch, where there are 15 varieties of pizza to choose from. 869-465-8651 Visitor Magazine 2017 / 141
DINING OUT St Kitts TAMARIND
869-765-9928 • www.tamarindstkitts.com
869-465-5216 • firstname.lastname@example.org
For Seta Janudoo, owner of Poinciana, the popular Frigate Bay restaurant is a dream come true. For many years, her ambition was to create an establishment she knew would please both locals and visitors, which is exactly what Poinciana achieves with its fine cuisine, romantic atmosphere and warm service. Serving lunch and dinner in a harmonious garden setting, a meal at Poinciana is sure to make your day.
Tamarind is truly a sophisticated Indian restaurant situated in the heart of Port Zante. With more than 20 years in the industry, Chef Rawat creates scintillating dishes to satisfy the palates of discerning patrons and brings a modern flair to the traditional Indian tandoor technique. The authenticity of our flavours is guaranteed by the use of the freshest of ingredients, and the dishes on our extensive menu can be individually tailored to suit your palate.
869-465-9999 • email@example.com
869-465-8597 • www.timothybeach.com
When you visit this delightful piece of paradise, taste the superb cuisine or just relax with a cool drink, you will agree with its chosen name. Situated in Fortlands, the large, comfortable patio overlooks splendid views of Basseterre, the Caribbean Sea and Nevis. Classical inside dining and lounge bar capture the ever-present breeze from the Caribbean in one of the coziest settings in St. Kitts. We look forward to welcoming you to Serendipity.
This tropical beachside café, located right on the Caribbean, is for those who enjoy comfort and value in a beautiful and relaxed setting. Watch the sun slip behind the azure blue waters while sipping a refreshing drink. Enjoy simple but elegant dishes, beautifully prepared and affordable, as you would expect at a beachside café. Stop by the Dock Bar at water’s edge for happy hour during the week or Sunday evening live entertainment.
A guide to some of St. Kitts’ best restaurants BY GARRY STECKLES
869-764-7200 • shipwreckstkitts.com
It’s quirky, it’s ultra-casual and it’s got atmosphere to spare – welcome to Shipwreck, St. Kitts’ most popular beach bar. Perched just a few feet from the lapping waves of the Caribbean at the southern tip of South Friar’s Beach, Shipwreck attracts an eclectic crowd who appreciate its excellent food – the best fish tacos in St. Kitts are among the stars of the menu – and affordable drinks. Signature libations include the potent Green Flash, in tribute to the establishment’s legendary sunsets.
TIRANGA ST KITTS
OTTLEY’S PLANTATION INN
Tiranga brings St. Kitts the authentic flavours of Indian cuisine in a warmly adorned 150-seat restaurant. Named after the tricolour flag of India, Tiranga’s extensive menu features traditional and regionally inspired Indian dishes. The restaurant offers a sophisticated fine dining experience, with friendly staff, discreet service and tantalising food, a combination that few can match and that ensures patrons keep coming back. Tiranga is located in the Royal St. Kitts Hotel in Frigate Bay.
Savour contemporary Caribbean flavors, stunning views and welcoming hospitality at Ottley’s Plantation Inn’s renowned restaurant, The Royal Palm. Dine al fresco in an award-winning dining room built into the stone ruins of the old sugar boiling house. Romantic candlelit dinner and lunch (brunch on Sundays) are served daily. Indulge in a day package at the Mango Orchard Spa, including lunch, and use of the pool and other facilities. Call for reservations.
869-466-0202 • www.tirangastkitts.com
140 / 142 / Visitor Visitor Magazine Magazine 2017 2016
869-465-7234 • www.ottleys.com
AUQUA BALLAHOO 869-465-4197 • www.ballahoo.net
Overlooking the bustling Circus in the heart of Basseterre, the Ballahoo is a Kittitian institution with plenty of contemporary pizzazz. The Caribbean-inspired menu – think stewed saltfish for breakfast – is enhanced by a number of Asian touches, including succulent sushi and sashimi. Freshly caught local fish is prepared however you like it and grilled lobster is a perennial favourite on the lunch and
VisitorMagazine Magazine2017 2017/ /141143 Visitor
DINING convenience while we built a commercial building on the adjoining property. It was our intention to relocate the wing business into the building on its completion. We had a lot of opposition on the container type business from all quarters and most people thought it was not suited for Frigate Bay. As soon as the building was finished we had an offer to purchase it, which we accepted, and as the container concept was such a hit we have continued operating out of it.” The biggest and most stylish container outlet on the island is the Mill, also in Frigate Bay. It consists of four containers welded together and converted into a chic coffee shop-cumbakery with a tastefully decorated seating and display counter area at the front and a full kitchen to the rear. Located in a corner of the Ocean’s Edge development, the Mill offers freshly ground coffee, an assortment of sandwiches, salads and pastries, home-made breads – including sourdough and crusty baguettes – and complimentary wi-fi. Healthy, tasty and filling, ‘ital’ food is the vegetarian cuisine favoured by members of the Rastafarian religion, and is prepared without the use of salt and meat, although
& TRENDY Container and truck food outlets do things differently BY GARRY STECKLES
ri Lankan kottu roti, Middle Eastern shawarmas, Jamaican jerk pork, Rastafarian ital, crusty baguettes, spicy chicken wings, tantalising pastries and stewed saltfish don’t seem to have a great deal in common. But they have in St. Kitts – they’re just some examples of the rapidly growing menu of food being sold out of container and truck outlets. Converted shipping containers serving good things to eat have been the big story lately, springing up in suburban Bird Rock and in the tourist hub of Frigate Bay. And there could be more on the way. Food trucks, their mobile cousins, are also doing brisk business. So what’s the big attraction? Simple. Containers and trucks can be positioned comparatively economically in high-traffic locations, their overheads are substantially lower than a conventional restaurant’s and they can offer a tempting combination of good food and good value. They can also provide an opportunity for people to sample diverse cuisines you mightn’t expect to find on a small Caribbean island, and that’s one of the attractions of St. Kitts’ first container food court, located next door to Ram’s Cash and Carry at the T-junction of the Bird Rock main road and the Bay Road, just a few minutes’ drive east from the capital of Basseterre. Ram’s executive Hamir Sabnani, who created and runs the 10-outlet container food court, is a passionate believer in offering food that’s different – without forgetting local and regional staples. Says Sabnani: “I was living in Trinidad for a couple of years, and was intrigued by the diversity of the food being sold by vendors on the Savannah in Port of Spain. It was interesting how it worked, and I had the idea of a food court in St. Kitts with everyone doing something different.” He pressed ahead with the project, and it’s
144 / Visitor Magazine 2017
been a success since opening for business in December of 2015 with a mix of outlets that reflects Sabnani’s philosophy. The 10 restaurants doing business out of vividly painted containers at the food court are: Jerk Pit – spicy Jamaican jerk-style food. Chef Alex’s Home Cooking – soup and local creole food. Spice of India – Indian cuisine and some
Chinese dishes. Chihuahuas – Mexican staples such as tacos, burritos and quesadillas. Ceylon Roti Hut – specialising in Sri Lankan kottu roti. Jamrock – Jamaican cuisine. Rifas – fast food, burgers, pizza, wings etc. Shawarma King – Mediterranean and Middle Eastern shawarmas and gyros. Debs Eatery – fried chicken. OMG Desserts – Haagen Dazs ice cream. The pioneer of container food in St. Kitts is Bobsy’s Super Wings, located opposite the golf course on the main stretch of road through Frigate Bay. Owned by Bobsy and Lynne Hawley, veterans of the St. Kitts bar and nightlife scene, Bobsy’s features 10 varieties of wings – Brimstone (hot), tamarind, guava BBQ, passion fruit BBQ, sweet chili, sugar cane and lime, rum-ble, mango, crisp and spicy and garlic – along with slow-baked ribs, fish fingers, chicken and fish burgers and a variety of fries and sides. Bobsy’s was the first container food outlet in St. Kitts when it opened in 2012, and like many pioneers didn’t have things easy. Recalls Lynne Hawley: “We began operating Bobsy’s Super Wings out of a converted shipping container at Frigate Bay solely as a temporary
fish can find its way into the mix. The most popular ital outlet in St. Kitts is OJ’s, a virtual institution on the corner of Central and Fort streets in the heart of Basseterre. OJ’s food, served out of a brightly painted truck, is consistently excellent, the portions are huge and the service efficient and friendly. Another popular truck outlet in the capital
is the Social Hub Grill, which operates on North Independence Square. Meat and fish hot off the grill is the Social Club’s signature cuisine, complemented by dishes like creamy chicken pasta, stewed saltfish, mutton curry and stewed oxtail. And yes, if you’re in the mood for a burger or a hot dog, this is the V place to go. ●
Visitor Magazine 2017 / 145
NEVISIAN FARE LUNCH
DINNER MONTPELIER BEACH BBQ
Nevis’s chicest beach bistro has a Euro-lounge vibe with sunbeds sur la plage, casual bar and restaurant serving healthy salads and international specials such as Thai prawns, as well as hearty staples like burgers and wraps. 869-469-5959.
The best single night out on Nevis. Lit by flaming torches, with a live band and tables right on the sand, guests enjoy lobster, steak and mahi expertly cooked over charcoal. The wine list is extensive, service superb, and romantic Caribbean ambiance very special. Monday nights only. 869- 469-3462.
OLE HOUSE CAFÉ
NISBET’S SEA BREEZE
PUMP ROAD BBQ
THE MILL PRIVÉE AT MONTPELIER
The only plantation inn down by the sea has a colonial-style beach bar and restaurant well positioned to escape the midday sun. After a dip and some lazing, it provides stylish comfort food in oldschool surroundings. Monday dinner features a steel band. 869-469-9325.
A seven-day guide to where to eat on island, by food writer PETER SWAIN
DINNER This family-friendly venue up in the hills serves international and Caribbean specialities in a relaxed, elegant setting. Chatelaine Gillian Smith sets the soignée tone and her friendly staff are simply the best. There’s also a colourful boutique promoting local and Caribbean artists. 869-4691891.
This elegant oceanfront restaurant features an award-winning wine list, a tank full of spiny lobsters, an authentic brick pizza oven, a fine selection of cigars and ice-cold beer on draught. On top of which they do a knockout key lime pie, and Pinney’s Beach is right on the doorstep. Heaven. 869-469-1382.
On Friday nights, there are BBQs set up all over the island, but this is one of the best: the ribs are worldclass, chicken succulent, beer cold and music loud – so, everything you could possibly want. This is the authentic taste of the Caribbean. Expect to wait in line for a while, but hey, what’s the hurry?
MONDAY TUESDAY One of several vibrant ‘snackettes’ serving local food – goat water, conch chowder, breadfruit and johnny cakes – this Pump Road institution is popular with Nevisians at lunchtime. Vegas-trained Cleo keeps prices modest, the shady dining room cool, and cafeteriastyle service fast. 869-469-8499.
The charismatic owner’s philosophy, ‘Source it locally and keep it simple,’ works admirably. This quintessential Caribbean beach bar is renowned for its Killer Bee rum cocktail, but the fresh conch and red snapper are also delicious. Don’t plan on doing much after a relaxed lunch here... 869-469-5817
This relatively new addition to the restaurant scene at the south end of Pinney’s Beach has a sociable bar and TVs for the big match. But the main attraction is the food: if you can’t decide whether you want Thai, Italian, Chinese, Indian or Creole, this is the place – it does them all. 869- 469-9911.
It’s Saturday night, so canapés in the Great Room followed by a romantic, candlelit five-course tasting menu in a 300 year-old converted sugar mill is the only way to go. Ideal for a private dinner party or celebratory occasion, chef Cristian Bassi brings subtle sophistication to affairs. 869-469-3462
Halfway up the Peak, set in truly spectacular gardens, Brice and Helen Marden’s exuberant al fresco restaurant is famed for its lobster sandwich, chicken roti and Annelise’s celebrated coconut cake. For a long, lazy lunch, washed down by a lethal rum punch, there is nowhere finer. 869-469-3346.
WEDNESDAY 146 / Visitor Magazine 2017
This historic plantation inn is open every day, but on Wednesday evenings hosts a Caribbean-style buffet with suckling pig as the centrepiece, and the likes of tannia fritters and jerk chicken on the side – it’s a sociable island tradition. Allow time for an aperitif at the cosy bar. 869-469-3477.
English chef Mark Roberts serves traditional roast beef and Yorkshire pudding for Sunday lunch. Locally caught lobster, yellow fin tuna and wahoo also feature, followed by good honest puddings like banoffee pie and carrot cake, washed down by a cup of English tea or a pint of Guinness. 869-469-2222.
This elegant Four Seasons oceanfront restaurant presents international fare with a Caribbean twist. Perfect for sunset watching, ceviche, jerk pork tostados, tiger shrimp, and wagyu steak are on offer, plus a good wine list and a choice of 101 rums. There’s also a children’s menu. 869- 469-1111.
OTH E R E ATE RIE S NOT TO B E MISSE D INCLUD E : the Tex Mex-serving Dos Gri ngos , h a ute cuis ine at Coconut G rove , hamb urgers at Café des A r ts, curry at I ndi an Summer, and live music at th e eve r re l ia b l e L im e .
DINING OUT Nevis
MONTPELIER PLANTATION & BEACH 869-469-3462 • www.montpeliernevis.com
Montpelier Plantation and Beach, a boutique hideaway, takes pride in being a member of Relais & Chateaux as well as having AAA Four Diamond awards. The Montpelier cuisine offers contemporary Caribbean dishes with emphasis on fresh, innovative food. The kitchen focuses on the quality of the ingredients and makes a conscientious effort to use organic products whenever possible.
869-469-1020 • www.coconutgroverestaurantnevis.coms
With views of St. Kitts and the Caribbean Sea, Coconut Grove is one of Nevis’s finest restaurants and only wine lounge. Coconut Grove is the only restaurant in the Federation to receive Wine Spectator’s ‘Award of Excellence every year from 2009 to 2016. Chef Stephen Smith is a graduate of the famed Culinary Institute of America, while Gary Colt, owner and master oenologist, is always pleased to help with your wine selection.
A guide to some of St. Kitts’ best restaurants BY GARRY STECKLES
THE ROCKS RESTAURANT 869-469-3346 • www.goldenrocknevis.com
Discover lively Caribbean cuisine paired with global flair at The Rocks. Fresh fish and lobster come from local fishermen; tropical fruits and vegetables from neighbouring growers. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served alfresco every day from dining decks overlooking the sea or in intimate garden settings. Under stone vaulted ceilings, our bar serves signature cocktails like the spicy Mount St. Helena and Golden Rock’s famous Rum Punch. Reservations recommended.
148 140 / Visitor Magazine 2017 2016
GREAT HOUSE RESTAURANT
Nisbet Plantation Beach Club • 869-469-9325 • www.NisbetPlantation.com
You’d think offering this many premium wines would win awards. Oh, wait a minute... Yes. We have awards. But, the only one we really cherish is yours. That’s why you’ll find picturesque ocean-side dining surrounded by lush tropical gardens. You’ll find mouthwatering steaks, fresh seafood (even a live lobster tank), delicious pastas and island favorites. Our wine cellar is complimented with over 40 Bourbons, 30 imported beers, Carib on tap, a rum bar, and a staff ready to concoct your favorite beverage. Maybe our wood fired pizza topped the list of awards too! Sit back, enjoy our complementary Wi-Fi and beach furniture. Why do we get so many awards? It’s this simple... We do everything possible to make your experience at the Yachtsman... Rewarding.
At Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, enjoy a three-course gourmet dinner at the historic Great House (circa 1778). Overlooking the famed Avenue of the Palms, the Great House lounge also offers a relaxed atmosphere for cocktails and conversation. For Caribbean flavours and entertainment, join us Mondays for Nevis Night and
Hamilton Beach Villas • On the Beach • Cotton Ground • Nevis • West Indies Visitor Magazine Magazine 2017 2017 / / 141 141 Visitor YacthsmanGrill.com • 869.469.1382 or 869.665.6245
WHERE TO STAY
◥PARK HYATT MAKES ITS DEBUT IN THE CARIBBEAN ◣
OCEAN TERRACE INN
ST. KITTS W.I.
Visit your dreams. Ottley’s Plantation Inn is a restored 18th-century sugar plantation offering accommodations in the historic Great House and in intimate stone cottages with ocean views and romantic plunge pools. Enjoy gourmet dining at The Royal Palm, a 66-ft. spring-fed pool, the sensuous Mango Orchard Spa, and explore the meandering rainforest trails, home to troops of vervet monkeys.
“Perfect in every way. Rarely do one’s dreams of someplace like the Caribbean find reality - Ottley’s is the Caribbean at it’s best!” locally:
869.465.7234 800.772.3039 www.ottleys.com firstname.lastname@example.org
An elegant bedroom at the spectacular Kittitian Hill development
8/23/15 5:06 PM
WHERE TO STAY
The first Park Hyatt hotel in the Caribbean is featured in this guide BY GARRY STECKLES
ST. KITTS MARRIOTT RESORT
The biggest resort hotel on St. Kitts, the Marriott continues to provide the wide range of accommodation, facilities and services that are par for the course with one of the world’s major hotel organisations. Among the amenities are five full-service restaurants plus a pizza hut and coffee shop, nine meeting rooms, a 35,000-square foot casino, an 18-hole golf course, a long stretch of welltended beach and a multitude of pools. The Marriott, which is in Frigate Bay, is also the home of the ultra-chic Sky Ultra Lounge, the
TIMOTHY BEACH RESORT
With a perfect beachfront location on Frigate Bay South, Timothy Beach Resort offers an array of moderately priced, comfortable accommodation options, including suites and studios with full kitchen facilities. Added attractions are the beachside Sunset Cafe, specialising in authentic local cuisine, and the popular and picturesque Dock bar. The
The 35 acres of grounds are simply magnificent, the spacious rooms and cottages are elegant and comfortable, as is a Grand Villa that can sleep nine, and the food, served amid the ruins of an historic sugar mill, matches the amenities. Throw in what must be the Caribbean’s cutest spa, tucked away in a charming chattel house
HALL of FAME
152 / Visitor Magazine 2017
OCEAN TERRACE INN
It opened its doors in 1969, which makes the Ocean Terrace Inn the longest-established hotel in St. Kitts. And the 65-room hostelry, located opposite the waterfront on the western outskirts of Basseterre, continues to
offer a winning combination of homegrown Caribbean ambiance and modern comforts and conveniences. The OTI is also home to two of the island’s most popular restaurants, The Verandah, specialising in Caribbean-Asian fusion cuisine, and Fisherman’s Wharf, famous for fresh seafood straight off the grill. www.oceanterraceinn.com (869-465-2754)
St. Kitts’ growing appeal to the high-end tourism market is also reflected by Kittitian Hill, a truly spectacular development nestled in the lush foothills of Mount Liamuiga on the northern tip of the island Kittitian Hill’s accommodation options at its Belle Mont Hotel consist of one-bedroom guesthouses, private farmhouses that can sleep up to eight and sumptuous two- three- and fourbedroom villas each with its own infinity pool. The development’s other attractions
include the Irie Fields golf course, The Kitchen restaurant, The Mill Bar, Mango Walk Spa, and, in nearby Dieppe Bay, Arthur’s beach bar. www.kittitianhill.com (869-465-1712)
The Ocean Terrace Inn offers comfort and convenience
families and a second for adults only. ◤ A spa with nine treatment rooms and a yoga lawn. ◥ Camp Hyatt, offering a range of activities for children from three to 12 years old. The new hotel also brings rewarding employment opportunities. Says general manager Julian Moore “Park Hyatt St. Kitts will seek to employ young Kittitians and Nevisians to showcase the personality of the people of the federation in a luxury setting. We will reach out to actively engage and promote local artisans and suppliers as well as associations that educate and promote environmental or community goals.” www.stkitts.park.hyatt.com (869 468 1234)
Frigate Bay beach bar ‘Strip’ is just steps away. www.timothybeach.com (869-465-8597)
he tourist industry in St. Kitts is going more upmarket every year, and the island is taking its biggest step yet to attract affluent visitors with the opening in 2017 of a sumptuous Park Hyatt hotel – the first in the Caribbean. The Park Hyatt St. Kitts, set within the huge Christophe Harbour development on the island’s Southeast Peninsula, has 126 guest rooms – 48 of them suites, some with their own roof-top plunge pools. There’s also a three-bedroom presidential villa which comes with butler service and a private chef. All rooms and suites are just a few steps from the gorgeous blue waters of the Caribbean, as the hotel spans the entire width of Banana Bay, one of the island’s most beautiful sandy beaches. Other features of the Park Hyatt include: ◢Three signature restaurants, a rum bar and a conservatory serving a plantation afternoon tea. ▼ Two guest swimming pools, one for
sophisticated hang-out of choice for St. Kitts’ after-dark crowd and located in the casino, just off the hotel’s main lobby. www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/skbrb-stkitts (869-466-1200)
ONLY IN ST. KITTS
Timothy Beach Resort overlooks beach
Spacious luxury at the Caribbean’s first Park Hyatt
The Marriott beach is always immaculately tended
Ottley’s is world-renowned for its grace and charm
SIX-TIME WINNER OF THE CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE
Royal St. Kitts Hotel has spacious suites and ideal location
Visitor Magazine 2017 / 153
WHERE TO STAY
STAY well as dozens of popular restaurants. And if you don’t feel like walking, the hotel also houses three excellent restaurants, Tiranga, Dolce Vita and Splash. Another addition to the Royal St. Kitts complex will be the Royal Plaza, an 11-unit commercial development featuring shops and two restaurants and due to open in late 2017. www.royalstkittshotel.com (869-465-8651)
SUGAR BAY CLUB
Sugar Bay Club has a beachfront location and two pools
on the edge of a lush rain forest, and it’s easy to see why this family-owned and managed plantation inn is renowned world-wide. Perhaps travel writer Cameron Simpson summed up a stay at Ottley’s best in a story in the Glasgow Herald: “Truly, if you allow yourself one holiday in your life, it has to be here.”We concur. www.ottleys.com (869-465-7234)
ROYAL ST. KITTS HOTEL
This refurbished and revamped pioneer of the Frigate Bay tourism hub features 224 spacious, immaculately decorated hotel and condominium rooms and suites. Amenities include well-equipped kitchenettes, wi-fi is complimentary and pets are welcome. The Royal St. Kitts is a stroll to the Frigate Bay North and Frigate Bay South beaches as
Located in the heart of the Frigate Bay tourism area, the Sugar Bay Club features 89 comfortable and well-equipped rooms and suites set amid five acres of oceanside tropical gardens with two pools and the Atlantic never more than a few steps away. And it couldn’t be more convenient for eating out. There are dozens of restaurants within strolling distance and the property itself is home to excellent sushi, Japanese teppanyaki and Indian establishments as well as a pizza place and a popular coffee shop. www.sugarbayclub.com ((869-465-8037) In addition to an extensive range of hotel accommodation, St. Kitts also has a number of privately owned houses and villas available for rent. Most of them can be contacted through V real estate agents. ●
Up in the hills or on the beach, Nevis has hospitality covered BY PETER SWAIN
Located right on the beach, the svelte and very exclusive seven-villa Paradise Beach is cutting quite an international dash. Each palatial modern pad has either three or four bedrooms, a large private pool and generous entertaining spaces inside and out. International designer Naomi Cleaver has created the modish Tiki beach bar, while an onsite concierge takes care of gourmet catering, spa therapists, maid service and such like in-villa, and sporting entertainment, dinner bookings and travel arrangements elsewhere on island (main picture). 154 / Visitor Magazine 2017
Exuding a magical calm up in the hills, Golden Rock is also a one-time sugar mill transformed under artist Brice and Helen Marden’s direction into a worldclass destination, with celebrity visitor book to prove it. Architect Ed Tuttle and landscape designer Raymond Jungles have created a vibrant backdrop for 11 traditional Caribbean guest cottages, newly refurbished swimming pool, and a restaurant terrace adorned by sculptures and water lily ponds that’s picture perfect by day, and reminiscent of a Federico Fellini film set at night. Visitor Magazine 2017 / 155
FOUR SEASONS RESORT
Right on Pinney’s Beach, the 196-key Four Seasons is the major hotel on island. Deluxe rooms, grand suites, plush villas and private residences for rent up around the 18-hole Robert Trent Jones II championship golf course, all serviced by four fine restaurants, bars, pools and boutiques, plus a lavish spa and 10-court tennis centre, make this five-star resort one of the Caribbean’s most desirable destinations. Amenities for families, water sports enthusiasts and those who just want to relax in luxurious surroundings are simply outstanding.
VILLAS FOR RENT
Whether for short visits or longer stays, villa rentals play a big part in the hospitality scene on Nevis. Some destinations like the classy Cliffdwellers on Pinney’s Beach, are collections of well-equipped holiday homes in one location with some central services. But there are also plenty of individual villas o varying sizes either close to the beach or up the Peak, available through the likes of Sugar Mill Real Estate, that are ideal for exploring all this beguiling isle has to offer.
NISBET PLANTATION BEACH CLUB
The award-winning Nisbet Plantation Beach Club is the only one of the island’s historic inns next to the seashore. The estate once belonged to the family of Fanny Nisbet, and English-style afternoon tea can still be taken on the lawn where she and her naval beau once walked. For guests in the 36 suites, dinner in the 18th-century great house is a splendidly formal affair. The beach bar, which often has live music, is rather more casual, but throughout the resort there is an old-school charm that attracts a loyal following.
A member of Relais & Chateaux and run by the stylish Muffin Hoffman, Montpelier is one of four so-called ‘plantation inns’ on Nevis. This haven of elegant hospitality has a rich history – including the 1787 wedding of Horatio Nelson to Fanny Nisbet, and the 1992 sojourn of Princess Diana and the two princes – plus modern conveniences in the shape of 18 well-appointed suites, a new pool complex, fine restaurants with a regular tasting menu, and a private beach club complete with BBQ, bar and cabanas. It’s all very seductive and consequently V popular with honeymooners. ●
OUALIE BEACH RESORT
Also on the sandy shoreline under the coconut palms, Oualie Beach Resort is a convivial three-star set-up in the heart of the island’s musical and water sports action. Thirty-two rooms in single and two-storey gingerbread cottages, many with romantic four-poster beds, and all with AC, ceiling fans and fast wifi, are no more than a few yards from the high tide mark. 156 / Visitor Magazine 2017
MONTPELIER PLANTATION AND BEACH
With a well-stocked library, lounge, cosy bar and fine dining room, the Greathouse at The Hermitage is the oldest surviving wooden house in the Caribbean. The Lupinacci family has run this island institution since 1971, maintaining certain traditions while gently modernising the colonial-style guest cottages and rooms. Surrounded by verdant gardens, with a tennis court and horse stables, it’s a particularly tranquil spot – as popular with those who live on island as with visitors. Visitor Magazine 2017 / 157
Nisbet PLANTATION BEACH CLUB NEVIS, WEST INDIES
In air-conditioned comfort for delectable gourmet dinners in the Great House.
Nevis Night, steak and lobster, live music
Seafood beach BBQ, band and dancing
Reservations required 869-469-9325 NisbetPlantation.com
St. Christopher Club Gardens
Golden Rock Inn
Nisbet Plantation Beach Club
Breaststroke: If you’re feeling adventurous, you can always swim your way across the two-mile channel! Duration of journey - based solely on the traveller.
Water Taxi: Water taxis are privately owned and available at your convenience for US$20 to US$30. Contact your concierge to make an appointment.
Car Ferry: Known as the Sea Bridge, operates between the tip of the Southeast Peninsula in St. Kitts and Cades Bay in Nevis. It makes six 15-minute crossings each way daily, leaving and arriving every other hour. One-way fares are EC$75 for a vehicle and driver. Additional passengers are EC$20 per person. Fares may vary depending on vehicle size. .
Golden Rock Inn
Park Hyatt St. Kitts
Montpelier Plantation & Beach OASIS IN THE GARDEN
Major’s Bay Nag’s Head
Passenger Ferries: Between Basseterre and Charlestown make the 45-minute crossing regularly, but are more frequent early morning and early evening. One-way fares are EC$25.
Here are a few interesting ways to travel across the two mile channel which separates St. Kitts and Nevis;
LIME BAR SUNSHINE’S BAR & GRILL
Four Seasons Resort & Four Seasons Resort Estate
Mt. Nevis Hotel The Residences of Tamrind Cove
Oualie Beach Resort
SHIPWRECK BEACH BAR & GRILL
White House Bay TIRANGA Guana Point Ballast Bay
North Frigate Bay THE PAVILION BEACH CLUB North Friar’s Bay Turtle Bay Canoe Bay Machineel Bay Sandy Bank Bay Mosquito Bluff
Half Moon Bay
VIBES BEACH BAR
Manor By The Sea
Commuting Between St. Kitts & Nevis
Train Tour Scenic Rail Tour uses Island Main Road between La Valle and Needsmust
Bird Rock Beach Hotel
Deep Water Harbour
THE GALLERY CAFE
Royal St. Kitts Hotel/Vaction For Life
Palms Court Gardens
Old Road Bay
ST. KITTS WINGFIELD ESTATES
SE UR CO LF
Half Way Tree
Fig Tree Pump Bay
The Kitchen Restaurant and the Mill Bar
Kittitian Hill Real Estate
St. Pauls Point