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Trip Ideas

Your Ultimate Guide to St. Kitts

Puerto Rico, Antigua, Dominican Republic—these are the names that come to mind when we think Caribbean. But St. Kitts has always shied from the spotlight, making it a more undiscovered island escape. Now, thanks to a posh hotel opening and laid-back beach clubs, this secret spot has finally come into its own. Here are the 11 top things to do in St. Kitts.

Chelsea is Brooklyn-based travel writer, editor, and photographer. When not home eating her way through NYC, she's gallivanting across the globe, sailing the coast of Croatia or hiking the peaks of Peru. Her superpowers include booking flight deals and sleeping in small plane seats.

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STAY

Belle Mont Farm

At Belle Mont Farm, the focus is all on sustainable, organic living (but we’re not talking, no-frills, eco-lodging). A crop of West Indies-style villas dot the property’s 400 tropical acres and feature over-the-top amenities like wraparound terraces with romantic open-air soaking tubs and infinity pools, walk-in closets, full gourmet kitchens, plus projector screens, iPads, and hundreds of movies to choose from for a late-night show (the property even provides the popcorn). You’ll also find organic, farm-to-table dishes at the hotel’s standout Kitchen restaurant—and if you hook the fresh catch of the day, the chefs will cook it up for the night’s ceviche or bouillabaisse.

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Park Hyatt St. Kitts

After much anticipation, the Park Hyatt will open this summer—adding a much-needed luxury stay to the island’s sparse hotel scene. The resort will have 126 beach-chic rooms, sprawling suites with private rooftop pools, three upscale restaurants, a spa, two swimming pools, and a rum bar (naturally). But the real draw is the prime location on the southern edge of the island with direct views of the Caribbean and Atlantic.

Four Seasons Nevis

For super seclusion, stay at the over-the-top Four Seasons on sister island Nevis. It’s decked out with all the perks you’d imagine: three infinity pools, pavilions with wraparound verandas and a Robert Trent Jones Jr. golf course, all resting at the base of Mount Nevis. There’s also a sailing school, tennis courts, and guided hikes through the rainforest trails.

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EAT

Spice Mill

Set on the edge of Cockleshell Beach, Spice Mill is a low-key beach club by day and a breezy boho-chic restaurant by night. Snag a table in the open-air pavilion and watch the sunset over the private stretch of sand while tucking into house specials like coconut lemongrass seafood soup or jerk pork and jasmine rice cooked in coconut milk.

Marshalls

This restaurant may have a menu of mouthwatering dishes, but most people come for the aerial views—some of the best on the island. The dining room cantilevers off the cliffside and over the Caribbean, affording diners panoramic vistas out the massive windows (as long as you’re not scared of heights!). When you’re finally ready to order, don’t miss the fresh salad of Nevisian garden greens, hearts of palms, artichoke, bell peppers, sundried tomatoes, candied pecans and a passion-fruit and pomegranate dressing. And for the main course: Chateaubriand Bogue Fiere (double fillet mignon with locally-grown veggies, mushrooms, and potatoes).

Carambola Beach Club

In Friar’s Bay, Carambola Beach Club is easily the most upscale option. The design is contemporary coastal, with massive metal fans and floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open onto a patio of firepits, lounges and plush beach cabanas. The creative plates match the vibe with appetizers like open butternut squash ravioli with brown butter and parmesan as well as a bounty of surf-and-turf options and their standout sushi rolls.

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Photos courtesy of Spice Mill Restaurant

DRINK

The Strip

Want to know where the locals go? The Strip, along Frigate Bay, is a group of ramshackle oceanfront watering holes, covered in twinkling lights and playing upbeat reggae. Mr. X’s Shiggidy Shack Bar & Grill is the hotspot on Thursday nights, and next-door Vibes Beach Bar draws all the crowds on Fridays. Our drink of choice: a nice, cold Carib beer.

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Reggae Beach Bar & Grill

Reggae Beach Bar & Grill on Cockleshell Beach has best of both worlds: killer food and spiked fruity drinks. Get a heaping plate of mahi-mahi sandwiches or buttery conch fritters, then swallow them down with a spiked smoothie of mango, strawberry, banana and rum.

Sunshine’s

If you’re in Nevis, swing by the colorful Sunshine’s beach bar for the famous Killer Bee rum cocktail. The secret recipe has never been revealed, but take it from us, it’s the strongest around. So drink at your own risk!

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DO

Hit the beach

It’s not hard to settle into island life, kicking back at low-key beach clubs and taking scenic drives around lush volcanoes, the Caribbean’s calm turquoise waters, and the Atlantic’s rolling waves. We love Cockleshell Beach, a tiny strand on the eastern tip of the island for the live tunes and snorkeling, and Frigate Bay beach for a sunset soak.

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Day trip to Nevis

If you start craving an adventure after all the brain-off vacation time, hop a ferry to Nevis, St. Kitts’ smaller, wilder sister isle. Here you can tour historic plantations that date back to the 16th-century. Nisbet has the most manicured grounds, with villas fronting its private beach club and a screened porch for afternoon tea. Montpelier, meanwhile, is fit for royalty—and has even seen a few in its day (ahem: Princess Diana). Get a glimpse into how the other half lives by booking a private candlelit dinner inside the property’s 300-year-old sugar mill. The Hermitage and Golden Rock trade the stately and stunning scene for a younger, funkier vibe. The former of which is home to a cluster of colorful bungalows and an old-school, nautical main house, while Golden Rock sits on 100 hilltop acres, with verdant gardens and fountains, stone gazebos and whimsical decor in pops of lipstick red, canary yellow, and electric blue.

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