My fiancee and I recently attended a conference at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and we had a great time. We stayed in a pool view room and ended up on the ground level, so we were able to open our sliding glass door and walk right out to the north pool. As was mentioned in previous reviews, when we arrived at around 2PM, local time, we were also told that our room was not ready and would not be ready for at least 30 minutes. The building staff was more than pleasant and inviting when we arrived and they were able to tag our bags and hold them off to the side for us until our room was ready. While waiting, we ate lunch at the Calypso restaurant, right off of the lobby. The food was pretty tasty. We ate their regularly, and enjoyed many an iced coffee from the "take-out" area right outside of Calypso.
Our room was clean and very comfortable, and the bed was made and the room straightened up every day. We were never without clean towels or glasses. We found the king-sized bed to be very comfortable and relaxing, and we both slept during the week.
In our week in St. Kitts, I had meetings to attend during my conference, but we were able to enjoy most of the amenities that the resort offered. We were able to hit the beach a few times and yes, it was regularly windy, but we found the temperatures to be quite pleasant. Dangerous to lazy sunbather who equates "i'm not feeling hot" with "i'm not burning," as the wind helps to keep one feeling cool. The ocean was clear and enjoyable, as the beach is protected by the rough surf by several stone barriers that I believe were man-made. The bigger waves are blocked further out so the surf at the shoreline is gentle enough for relaxing on a raft or standing and shooting the breeze (pun intended) in the shallow water.
We took advantage of the pool and the swim-up bar, as well as the "Bohemia," the eating area and bar by the beach. We found the mixed and frozen drinks to be must tastier and better made than most that one would expect to find at an all-inclusive resort. If the reader decides to visit this resort, it is imperative that a "Painkiller" and at least one of Troy's mudslides be tried. Our favorite beverage of the week was the local beer, Carib. Carib can be found in bottles, cans or on draft throughout the resort, and buckets of Carib bottles can be delivered to the room, on-ice. My fiancee enjoyed the best mojito that she had ever had at the lobby bar, but found that the resort, as a whole, frequently ran out of mint. More often than not, they were out and she was not able to get the mojito, so if you are even remotely in the mood, and you see mint behind the bar, seize the opportunity!
We ate at all 3 of the resort restaurants and found the food to be excellent. On our last night, we elected to eat at Blu, the seafood restaurant at the beach, a 2nd time, and we were not disappointed. On our first go-round, we both enjoyed DELICIOUS Chilean Sea Bass. It was excellently prepared and the portion was an ideal size. The 2nd time, I had the surf and turf and my fiancee had the local lobster tail. Both were exquisite and cooked to perfection. Our experiences in both the steak house and the italian restaurant were equally as satisfying. The surf and turf was delicious at the steak house, and the lobster ravioli was fresh and delicious at the italian joint. We enjoyed bottles of wine with dinner at all the restaurants and found the selection to be quite broad, with a decent amount at a more affordable price. The food at Calypso, Bohemia and the Pizza Shack was quite good. I had the "roast pork sandwich" for lunch 3 days in a row from Bohemia because it was just that good. The pizzas that we got from the pizza shack were surprisingly delicious. That's coming from a Long Islander that can be very critical of "off-island" pizza and bagels. The pizza shack is worth the price of admission.
Overall, the staff at the resort was amazingly friendly. When we were arriving and checking in, we were asked if it was our first time visiting, told a few tidbits of information about the island and wished a great time. Throughout our stay - even while walking past us in the opposite direction - staff members greeted us with smiles and asked us if we were enjoying our time on their island. When leaving my room to attend a meeting as part of my conference, I asked a gentleman that was painting if he could point me towards the conference room mentioned in my itinerary. He not only explained to me how to get to the room, but when I repeated his directions to confirm, he said "come with me, I will show you. No problem," and he walked me there. It wasn't a far walk into the main building and up some stairs, but he made sure to ask me if we were enjoying the resort and having a great time. I thanked him for his help and assured him that we were having a wonderful time. In general, the wait staff and bartenders throughout the place were very polite and patient. The first night we ate at Blu, Cecil was a top-notch server, stopping back at the table to re-fill our wine, checking to make sure everything was delicious, and sold us on dessert. Thanks to Cecil's dessert recommendation, we purchased a bottle of coffee rum at the airport to bring back with us so we can make "Kittitian Coffees" at home.
Our experience was excellent and we were greeted with pleasantries everywhere we went. We intentionally dialed back our geared up New York expectations when we arrived and it's a good thing that we did, as one shouldn't expect everyone working at the resort to be in a rush. We were never kept waiting for more than a few minutes at any restaurant, except for one instance at Calypso. That was mildly frustrating, but no one died, so it wasn't a big deal. But one must remember..."you're on island time, mon. Relax." If you sit down at a table at Bohemia to order lunch, take a moment to enjoy the view, soak up some sun, do some people watching...and be patient. Someone will come by to take your order.
We visited the casino a couple times and I found it to be quite nice. The black jack tables were full of enjoyable guests and the dealers often had a sense of humor. There was live music playing on top of some banks of slot machines one night and in 3 visits, I ended up taking home some of the casino's money, so I left happy. I would recommend taking a spin through.
We chose to upgrade our reservation to the all-inclusive package before our arrival. It added a significant cost, obviously, but we felt like it was worth it. We have traveled to all-inclusive resorts before and the peace of mind offered by knowing that all it takes is the flashing of a bracelet to "pay for" drinks or food, just makes things easier. However, the Marriott St Kitts uses a different system. We have mixed feelings on this system: there are not any bracelets, like one would expect out of an "all-inclusive package," rather all-inclusive guests are given a list of places that are included in the package. When we went to these places, we were ultimately given a receipt for the food, just like everyone else. We were initially instructed to just fill out and sign the bills accordingly (room number, name, etc) and the bills that are from included areas basically just disappear. HOWEVER, we were very confused about the TIPPING. Included on every bill is a 12.5% "service charge" and every bill had a blank line marked "gratuity" right above "total". We didn't know if this was supposed to act as a "tip" or what. While at the bar the first day (and generally, a bill is given after every round) i had a few singles in the pocket of my board shorts, but i waited to see at least 1 other person put a bill on the bar after ordering drinks. I never saw 1 dollar on a bar anywhere. No tip cups either. So after our first dinner, at which I absentmindedly left a roughly 20% tip on the bill because the food and service was excellent, we decided to just periodically put $1 or $2 on on bar orders that were generally $15-$25 (a couple rounds of beer + a frozen drink), and $10-$15 on meals. When checking out, only additional gratuities are added to the bill. So our $180 dinner with a $15 tip at Blu was listed only as "Add'l tip - $15." It worked out in the long run, but when checking in, we would recommend asking someone to clarify how to handle the tipping situation.
We never experienced the Emerald Spa.
Our room was a "pool view room" and we never scouted around to check others, but if at all...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.