Queen’s Garden Resort & Spa
What We Love
- The spa’s own line of handmade beauty products scented with frangipani
- Dinner for two in the Bird’s Nest, a treehouse overlooking the sea
- Gazing down at the ocean from our private Jacuzzi
What To Know
- Free WiFi
- The atmosphere here is romantic and quiet, so families may want to stay elsewhere
- Nothing on the island is far away, but the island is hilly
- Because so many ingredients are imported, food can be expensive
- There are no sandy beaches
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Ever heard of Saba? This island in the Lesser Antilles is just five square miles, and while it’s just a dot on the map, it’s also a jungle-covered paradise for hikers and scuba divers….and those who enjoy lounging in a boutique hotel with a cool drink while other people get sweaty. Not only does each guest get her own suite, she also gets her own floor. Nearly all of the 12 airy suites have a private Jacuzzi with a view of the jungle and ocean below—the hotel is perched on a hill, so just looking out the window counts as sightseeing. The restaurant goes heavy on fresh tuna and lobster, and the attentive staff keep the gin and tonics flowing as long as you want them. While most visitors will go fishing, scuba diving or snorkeling, we wouldn’t blame you for only making it as far as the pool.
In the Area
On an island this size there is a limited number of things to do, although hikers will have a ball exploring the intricacies of the extinct volcano dotted with rock formations. Birders, too, will be in heaven, since Saba is a breeding ground for many species of tropical birds. The hotel can arrange birding tours with an expert, charter speed boats for exploring nearby islands, and arrange fishing trips with local fishermen. Snorkeling is mostly done at Well’s Bay, which has a coral reef and a good stock of turtles and brightly colored fish. Back on land, visitors can pick up pieces of the intricate Saba lace or bottles of the rum-based Saba spice for souvenirs, but that’s about it.
How to Get There
Stayed a week at Queens Garden. Secluded Villas on a secluded Island. Everyone from the Owner to the wait staff were above and beyond accommodating & Friendly. This also included everyone else on the island. Food at the Hotel was excellent. Menu changed nightly with nice options. Nicest place on Saba
We recently stayed at the Queen's Gardens Resort & Spa for 10 nights. I have worked and traveled in about 20 countries and Saba is one of the few places that I would enjoy returning. The Queen's Gardens is a large factor in that equation. We had a top-level room, overlooking The Bottom and the ocean. It has a view that constantly begs the mind and body into relaxation, but also elicits a gentle sense of curiosity to explore.
The living area is large and well-furnished with a sturdy rustic feel of warmth and intrigue. The sliding window doors essentially open the entire wall to the island breeze. Sitting on the sofa and looking out while sipping hibiscus tea at night was a great way to enjoy the sense of peace the island bestows upon you. We also enjoyed the Jacuzzi with the same view, and could easily move drinks from the sofa chest tables to the Jacuzzi through the arched opening in the adjoining wall.
As sleep approached, it was always a joy to find comfort in the bedroom with the large four-poster bed. Our bedroom had four windows, two ocean facing, one to the side and a smaller one facing the back. There was also a ceiling fan and a stand-up fan, if one would care to use. For us, we turned the fans off, kept a front window and the back window open and received the nicest nighttime zephyr to follow us into sleep and then greet us upon waking to more beautiful views in the morning, and the occasional sound of a dropping mango.
After a morning stretch, and quick shower in the well-appointed bathroom (can choose from rainfall shower head, horizontal spray nozzles, or hand spray wand) we would walk down to the dining area for a tasty and filling breakfast and coffee.
Of course, none of this happens by accident. Claire and her staff are constantly busy looking to keep everything in order and make sure we had a pleasant stay. The rooms are well taken care of and the cleaning women can be seen taking pride in their work. The Jacuzzi is well maintained, with maintenance staff stopping by in mid-stay to check the water and cleaning system. We had several waiters, each bringing their uniqueness to the dining experience. One of the waiters is also the bartender and he seems to move about so efficiently that it must appear that he is in two places at once.
We spent time relaxing at the Queen's Gardens in the room, on occasion at the fabulous pool for a quick dip, with a short visit to the bar and lounge area for a drink. Large pool towels are provided, so no need bring your own or carry anything down from the room. We also took many opportunities to venture out to explore and enjoy many of the islands subtle attractions. The resort is about 500 meters from The Bottom. We enjoyed the walk, steep – yet so satisfying to stretch the legs, but if you would prefer a taxi that seems easily to be arranged.
We enjoyed dinner at the Queen's Gardens (5-star dining, inside or outside on the dining terrace) and several places at The Bottom and on the Windward Side, including an excellent lobster dinner at Chez Bubba Bistro. We also went on some marvelous hikes up toward Mt. Scenery (entrance to the path, which also goes to other places, is just a few steps from the Queen's Gardens) and the Paris trail, which will land you close to the Ladder trail (down to Ladder Bay) as well as an long, sometimes steep, but enjoyable walk to Wells Bay on the western side.
One will likely find that Saba is probably not exactly like most vacation destinations and there are a few things to consider if you are making travel plans. With a little research, prudent planning, and a flexible attitude, Saba can be the place for pleasant memories that will last forever. So, a few things to keep in mind are listed here to improve the chances of a wonderful stay.
At the Queen's Gardens there were no screens on the windows in our room (or the living room sliding window doors). Although this may seem like an invitation to mosquitoes or other insects, there was simply no bother. Indeed, the only time we experienced insects was on one of the hikes into the jungle area going up to Mt. Scenery. In that case, I came prepared with some Picaridin insect spray, but their presence was so mild, just ended up spraying it around our socks, sneakers, and ankles. With no screens, the curtains then can get swept out from the inside of the window if a nice breeze comes along. So, I expect there needs to be some trade-off. The curtains are not silk with fancy designer print or lace, but well selected with obvious quality and warm earth tones to match the eco-friendly ambiance. This is the proper way to make a lasting 5-star experience.
Water can be expensive on Saba! - and often is included as a cost in your meals. Depending on your taste, the water could be more expensive than the wine. But, there is a simple solution to this. Queen's Gardens, as part of an eco-friendly initiative, provided us complimentary brushed stainless steel water bottles, with their logo (nice souvenir to take home and continue to use). We filled them before going out from our bathroom sink, but they also have a water container in the dining area that you can top off your supply before you head out.
Hopefully, it would be obvious to most people that sunscreen is likely a good idea on a Caribbean island. It is easier to protect from the sun than nurse a burn, so prepare to your level of care and comfort. We did, and enjoyed quite a bit of time outside without concern for getting sun burn. I actually never felt like it was blistering hot, as on some other Caribbean islands, but better to be prepared I feel.
Make sure you understand there are no beaches, and that this is not a party island. Instead, prepare for good walks that may require a good amount of effort (there is really not much flat space on Saba, save the airport runway). To each their own, but we felt the reward of a strenuous walk to be well worth it. Queen's Gardens has walking sticks and poles that are immediately outside the reception office if you care to use one, which may be a good idea on some of the trail hikes. If you are really into the adventure of hiking or plan on long walks, may want to bring a few extra of your own water bottles to keep hydrated. We would typically take a day back with water container holders on the side and then pack some bananas and bread that we purchased from one of the local markets. We found the prices of the local grocery items to be very reasonable.
Ask around for what might be going on around the island. The staff at the Queen's Gardens are an excellent resource, but you will hopefully also get to chat with some of the friendly local islanders as well. We made our way to a Martini night at a bar-lounge on the Windward Side and then walked back to a restaurant, where we had taken an excellent early pizza dinner, to sit at their bar a bit and enjoy some Rum Runners before asking to call a taxi for us back to Queen's Gardens. If you are not inclined to go out, no one would fault you for choosing to enjoy the great dinners and bar-lounge area at the Queen's Gardens.
On getting there and away – we found that making reservations for the Dawn ll ferry for the trip over and then catching the 15 minute plane flight back to St Maarten’s SXM airport was the best combination. The ferry ride can definitely prime one for that sense of awe, mystery, adventure, and relaxation that awaits on Saba. The plane ride provides for an excellent parting aerial view of the island that will hopefully, by this time, be embedded in your heart and suggest that gentle yearning to return.
When in Saba try and stay at Queen’s garden resort and spa. The property has great views. The garden, bar and pool all have nice ambiance. Rooms are clean and airy.
Onsite restaurant has great food and healthy choices. Don’t miss the Sunday 3 course dinner. It’s the best and delicious food. Highly recommend this place to anybody planning to visit Dutch Caribbean islands!!!