BLANC AND BLUE
Written by Bridget Williams
Rush Slowly is the name of a boat moored just off of Reggae Beach near the Park Hyatt St. Kitts. This oxymoron is an accurate description of the pace of life on the island, which boasts one of the longest recorded histories in the Caribbean. Even though this molasses clip can sometimes be maddening, turning down the dial can allow for things to unfold the right way - as evidenced by this thoughtful development in Christophe Harbour.
It had been nearly five years since my last visit to Christophe Harbour for the grand opening celebration for a mega-yacht harbor. Located on St. Kitts’ southeast peninsula, the 2,500-acre master-planned residential community, developed by Kiawah Island developer Buddy Darby, boasts six of the 11 main beaches on the island. Back in 2014, there were plans for a golf course (still in the works), as well as a luxury hotel, which came to fruition two years later than originally scheduled when the Park Hyatt St. Kitts opened in early 2018.
We opted to disembark at Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport using the services of the KanyanJet luxury lounge. An attendant was waiting for us as soon as we deplaned, and whisked us away to the lounge in an air-conditioned SUV. We enjoyed a glass of champagne and canapes as our passports were processed (similar services are available on the return trip as well).
En route to the resort, I was delighted to see that the landscape of St. Kitts—marked by a dragon’s tail of verdant, jagged peaks that give way to beaches bordered on one side by the cerulean Caribbean Sea and the more agitated Atlantic Ocean on the other— remained just as it had been etched in my memory. The Park Hyatt St. Kitts lays claim to 20 enviable oceanfront acres and is separated from neighboring Nevis by a straight dubbed The Narrows.
Following the appetizer offered by the jaw-dropping views on the thirty-minute shuttle ride from the airport, we were fully prepped for the main course, dramatically delivered by the resort’s “welcome walk.” Beginning at the porte-cochere, a thoughtfully designed covered walkway appeared to float in the middle of a koi pond. As my eye was drawn outward to the ocean view, there was an immediate feeling of excitement and anticipation. My shoulders loosened, and I swore I could hear the ocean breezes whispering that I should adjust my watch to island time.
The Park Hyatt St. Kitts’ 126 oceanfront guestrooms and suites are contained within a series of three-story buildings that trace the serpentine contours of the shoreline. For planning purposes, it’s good to note that rooms in buildings one, two, and three have the most expansive ocean views. The Executive Suite is the only ground-floor suite with a plunge pool, and the added benefit of having ocean waves languorously lap at your door. Roomy standard beachside queen rooms all have either a terrace or balcony to admire cloud-capped Nevis.
Our third-floor suite boasted a private plunge pool that overlooked a lush strip of lawn extending to the beach. Keeping with the homey appeal that is a brand standard among Park Hyatt properties, we had plenty of room to roam. The separate living room was large enough to accommodate a sofa and a marble-topped tulip dining table. The bathroom was the size of many a New York City apartment, and the two-level terrace offered lounging and alfresco dining areas. The pared-back aesthetic boasted elements that clearly derived inspiration from both US coasts. Glass walls negated the need for artwork. In this ethereal environment, careful pops of lipstick red, such as peg-style hooks in the bathroom, packed a big visual punch.
Thoughtfully devised, the diversity of the culinary program is also represented in the varied physical structures of the dining options. Newly constructed, I erroneously assumed that the high- ceilinged Stone Barn Restaurant was a restored remnant of a sugarcane plantation. The adults-only dinner destination offers a choice of a three or seven-course meal, with or without wine pairings. Aptly accommodating those with dietary restrictions, I have to admit that the vegetarian option was appealing even to a carnivore like me. I admired the artful plating as course-after- course was paraded out of the open kitchen. At evening’s end, it was the lobster risotto that garnered top marks.
Partitioned out to accommodate a variety of functions, the Great House is always a hub of activity. It begins with a lavish breakfast spread and often ends with children playing board games as their parents partake of an after-dinner drink. Fleming’s Bar in The Great House has a California cool vibe and an outstanding selection of craft cocktails, many of which incorporate herbs from an on-site garden. The nearly 100 types of rum on offer at the Rum Bar have been selected under the direction of a rum connoisseur from Nevis, who hosts weekly guided tastings.
Where and what you eat are truly customizable. The Chef ’s Table experience in the Great House offers an entirely off- menu experience. The Chef ’s Table in the Great House offers an entirely off-menu experience. The “Modern Kittitian” menu, which took our particular preferences into account, encompassed seven beautifully plated courses chock-full of local ingredients. The luxury of private dining meant that I could shamelessly indulge in licking the bowl clean following the chef Rahul Kinja’s rapturous soup course.
While not an adult’s only resort, there is a definite focus on couples. The design of the Rampart Pool, a designated adults-only infinity pool near the Miraval Life in Balance Spa pays homage to St. Kitt’s Brimstone Hill Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A replicated sugar mill near the spa is another architectural tribute to the island’s history. This truly unique space is host to activities encompassing daily yoga, meditation, and private dining.
An open-air oasis, the 37,752-square-foot Miraval Life in Balance Spa will forever hold a place in my heart after I spied an African green monkey curiously peering down at me from atop the tall stacked-stone wall of the outdoor shower. Unfortunately, my squeals of delight brought an abrupt end to his intrigue. Building upon Miraval’s award-winning signature services, the spa’s menu of face and body treatments takes a globally-inspired approach.
A feeling of truly being away from it all is, in my humble opinion, one of the resort’s greatest attributes. This doesn’t mean that days pass idly by, unless that’s your goal. We opted for a different activity each day, alternating between more active pursuits such as an electric bicycle excursion and guided snorkeling, with more passive one’s poolside. Whenever I find myself lucky enough to be at the beach, I make a point to never miss a sunrise, and the Park Hyatt St. Kitts gets high marks in this category. Early risers are rewarded with a marvelous memory-making morning tableau created by the billowy, pillowy clouds engaged in a perpetual game of peek-a-boo with Nevis Peak.
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Editor's Note: At press time, in light of COVID-19 and for precautionary measures, the resort was temporarily closed.