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It’s been less than a decade since St. Kitts turned from a sugar-based economy to one fueled by tourism. In that time, the island’s tourist product and infrastructure has improved. Here’s a look at some of the most recent changes on St. Kitts.
Frigate Bay is a 64-room landmark property that will undergo a full renovation and update starting in May. Plans call for the creation of a stylish boutique hotel by mid-2013. The hotel will remain open for business during the current peak season rather than begin an extensive renovation at the start of St. Kitts’ busiest travel period. Enhancements to the public areas include upgrades of the exterior walls, new steps from the middle level to the top level of the resort, more tropical landscaping to open up the vistas to the pool and the sea beyond and upgrades to the conference room and front desk area. Rooms will be outfitted with new balcony rails, windows, doors and sliding-glass doors, new kitchens, bathroom tiles and new air-conditioning units.
The area of St. Mary’s has been named a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, with the certificate of declaration presented to St. Kitts & Nevis at the 36th Session of the UNESCO General Conference in November 2011. According to UNESCO, it is an area of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems that is promoting solutions to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity through sustainable use. Home to sea turtle nesting and other indigenous plants and wildlife, the area will now be protected and preserved.
Carambola Beach Club is now open for lunch and dinner daily (reservations required). Located on the picturesque South Friar’s Bay beach, the club offers modern European cuisine with Caribbean influences created by chef Dean Butler and pastry chef Cameron Steele, both formerly of Sandy Lane in Barbados. With a seating capacity of 180 people for in- and outdoor dining, one of Carambola’s defining features is its 4,000 bottle wine cellar with select vintages from nearly every wine-growing region in the world. The restaurant features a tapas menu and a sushi/oyster bar. Plans are also in place to offer beach beds with butler service, a dedicated massage area with a professional masseuse, snorkeling and various other water sports.
Work is under way on the mega-yacht marina at Christophe Harbour. The marina has the mooring capacity for seven super yachts and welcomed its first boats last February. Christophe Harbour is a luxury resort development on more than 2,500 acres of the southeastern peninsula of St. Kitts. In addition to the mega-yacht marina, there are plans for a Tom Fazio championship golf course and a collection of restaurants, shops, boutiques, five-star hotels and villas.
Kittitian Hill, set on a 400-acre hillside site in the northern part of St. Kitts, continues its development. Construction is under way on the 90-room cottage hotel and Ian Woosnam-designed golf course. At this time, 35 one bedroom cottages and two villas are in various stages of completion. The 18-hole golf course is 50 percent completed and the driving range is 80 percent complete. The Hotel Terrace Complex with its main swimming pool and restaurants, the tennis courts and several villas will also be complete in the first phase. Construction of Phase 1B is scheduled to begin in 2013, which comprises the spa, fine-dining restaurant, golf clubhouse, the artist village and more villas.