2013 St. Kitts
My wife and I went on an Apple Vacation to the Marriott in St. Kitts the last week of February 2013. We loved it with a few exceptions. First of all we did not go for the all inclusive since my wife barely drinks and I don't drink as much as I used to. For 7 nights they wanted $950 per person for the additional charge for unlimited food and drink. We ended up spending about $1150 total for the two of us (both on site and off site) and we ate well and I drank as much as I wanted. Plus I strongly recommend eating some meals off site which would just add to the all inclusive cost.
The resort was luxurious. There is the main hotel and a north and south complex of ten buildings each. We stayed in the south complex in building 1 room 310. Ours was a standard room, quite large, well decorated and with a balcony overlooking a courtyard. We had a small fridge which came in handy since there was a minimart down the street for snacks. There is a huge pool in front of the hotel which is fairly crowded with D.J. Music all day and lots of bars. Finding a chair there at prime time was sometimes a challenge. There were two smaller pools in each of the north and south complex. These were less crowded and less noisy. Beyond the main pool was a gorgeous beach with plenty of beach chairs and cabanas which were free to guests. We never had a problem finding an available cabana. This was one of the nicest settings we have encountered. The only issues we had were as follows. First, in each of the buildings in the complexes there were large air conditioner units on the end. Some were extremely noisy. While we couldn't hear them in the room, it made it unenjoyable to use the balcony and the pool in the south complex. The north complex was a little bit better. Also, my pet peeve with Marriott is no free Internet. They wanted $75 for the week for wifi. We decided to visit the coffee shop down the street instead. Marriott stays are a little pricey but worth it, why do they nickel and dime you for wifi. Same thing with local calls. Finally, cab fares are pricey. It costs $12 to go into town one way and $24 for some of the more distant destinations. This price covers 1-4 people so it is cheaper per person for a group of four.
We ate at Blu and the Italian place on site and both were excellent. Off site we did Sprat Net which is low cost but great seafood served on picnic tables right next to the Caribbean. The cost of the taxi though cut into the savings. Don't miss Carambola for dinner. Get there an hour before sunset, have a drink and watch a beautiful sunset then have dinner in a gorgeous open air fancy restaurant. The prices are modest, the food and service are spectacular, and the setting incredible. Stay for an after dinner drink on the quiet beach and watch the stars. Marshall's is in a similar class (no beach) but if you have to choose, pick Carambola. Both are a $10 cab ride away. As for excursions we did the Island tour for $80 for 3.5 hours around St. Kitts. It was worth it and you see just about everything there is to see on St. Kitts. Which is another point. The people here are incredibly friendly and welcoming. We always felt welcomed and safe. St. Kitts is an island of great natural beauty but there is a lot of urban sprawl with little or no building codes or zoning laws. There are some well kept up areas but also a lot of run down or abandoned buildings and cars. The resorts, beaches and restaurants are all well maintained as is Brimstone Fort and Romney Manor where Caribelle Batik is located, a must see. But this is not an Americanized island like the Virgin Islands which is good but you should manage your expectations. On a separate excursion we also toured the rain forest which was very interesting. Our final excursion was a tour of the sister island Nevis. This was an all day affair and well worth it. Nevis has less of the urban sprawl and the places we visited seemed to have more local charm yet still be well maintained and beautiful. I recommend Tropical Tours and Clayton Daniel as the Nevis tour guide. Must sees on Nevis are Nisbet Plantation for a drink, Golden Rock for lunch and Sunshine Beach for a swim and a few Killer Bees for refreshments. We liked this vacation so much we will definitely come back. Our next trip to these beautiful islands will include a stay at Nisbet for sure.