We have just returned from a dream vacation in S.t Cristopher (S.t Kitts) and on Nevis Island. We have sampled 5 days of pure bliss att Rawlins plantation. This is an old sugar plantation at the northernmost tip of S.t Kitts. It is quite a long drive from the airport but the present owner, miss Zai, continues to follow the tradition of the former owners, Paul and Claire Rawson, in that Your package rate includes an automobile! And a gorgeous breakfast and dinner, making this the best-priced package deal of the island! Good snorkeling beaches are a good drive away, but You can find the most beautiful and totally deserted beach north of Fig tree bay, a couple of miles to the south, and the famous lava sand beach of Dieppe bay, where the caribbean and the atlantic meet, a 15 minute drive to the north. There is a price to pay for solitude...Clearly, if You are looking for an all-activity beach hotel like the four seasons or any other 1000+ room complex Rawlins is not for You.Rawlins is a trip back in time, to the days of courteous service and relaxed living. It is most suitable for lovers, overworked doctors or people that just need to relax and unwind in the loveliest old-style surroundings. And chances are low that You will meet Your horrid cousin and her ten screaming children.
With just 10 rooms, Rawlins is able to retain the tangible air of exclusivity, without jacuzzis, CD-roms and DVD players. Actually, the rooms do not have TV, radio or phones. Daily magazines are NOT delivered either, so I missed the release of Michael Jackson with a few days. Big deal! I have not felt so relaxed in years!
The road up to the plantation through the fields of high sugarcane immediately puts You in the mood . There are no lights, a dirt track, and, after a few winding kilometres, the friendly lights of the mansion and the aroma of what must be the island´s best cooking greets You! And a lovely welcome from your courteous and refined host, miss Zai, owner of the establishment. Her caribbean style buffet lunch is also known across the island and not to miss. Generally, cooking here is more carib influenced than the other plantations, and delightfully so. Local produce is used whenever possible. Breakfast is gorgeous as well, with freshly made passion fruit juice as a delightful choice.Accommodation is in charming little cottages furnished in old english style. The landscaped garden is huge, there are hammocks and easychairs everywhere at inviting spots and miss Zai even grows most of the vegetables and spices used in the kitchen. There is a small but refreshing pool and a well-stocked library for rainy days and utter relaxation in the hammock as well as tennis courts and a croquet lawn. Air condition is being introduced into some of the cottages but the northern trade winds cool the cottages at night anyway.
The night is an experience by itself, alone with the stars and the sea. Since no other habitations are near the feeling is of utmost serenity. You may even wish to sleep out under a mosquito net!The view from the cottage (or the pool-or the restaurant )towards Statia and Saba as well as S.t Maarten is magical and the only neighbours You will ever meet are the first owners of the plantation who live "next door". One is a very accomplished artist and her collection is very well worth visiting. Her husband actually built the cottages himself some 40 years ago and his family has been on the island for 330 years! We found everyone we met here to be a joy to be near and share experiences with and left with nothing but new friends and happy memories. And with a wallet with less holes in it than at other plantations. I will not hesitate to warmly recommend Rawlins to people that appreciate what Rawlins stands for: charm, culture, comfort, compassion and- blessed peace and relaxation. If You get restless, Your car takes You all around the island in three hours. It was actually rather sad to meet at least three honeymoon couples staying in other unnamed large hotels who came out to Rawlins to visit and have lunch, and see the sadness in their eyes and hear-If only we had known...But do not spread the word to anyone. We do not want to spoil the magic of Rawlin´s.
Dr Stefan Rustscheff, SWEDEN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.