From the time we set foot in the lobby of the St. Kitts Marriott Beach Resort and Royal Beach Casino in St. Kitts, we had a feeling this place would meet or even exceed our expectations. It was obvious from the first smiling face we came across and continued throughout the trip. It’s no surprise that when you review a hotel, you’re first impression counts the most. Alecia behind the front desk had that opportunity and didn’t waste it. It’s the tail end of hurricane season so with full knowledge of less than optimal capacity, our chances for an upgrade were good.
The plane ride over blue and green waters was spent detailing every argument I could muster in order to have the best chance for an upgrade. The original reservation was made many months ago as part of my strategy with the 100,000 point Ritz Carlton Chase card in 2015. With both my wife and I taking advantage, we suddenly not only had a free 7-night vacation but also enough miles for a Companion Pass with Southwest. It was a beautiful plan that worked perfectly. This culmination of point gathering and distributing came down to this chosen hotel. The only issue being that the reservation was for two double beds and no balcony. For two adults, a teen and a preteen, this isn’t ideal. But free is free.
Sometimes You Just Have to Ask
My status with Ritz, already on the decline from Gold to Silver weighed heavily as I strolled through the doors. I was gold when I made the reservation, so I wondered if they would view that as positively as I did? Confident and ready to make my case I walked up and introduced my family. Always the positive ones, we smiled and detailed how excited we are to visit Alecia’s beautiful country. Before the request could even partly make it out of my mouth, she mentioned we had been upgraded to a larger room with a balcony with ocean view. Wow, that was easy! And it would have been quite easy to walk away at that point.
Ever the optimist, we figured it can’t hurt to ask for a bit more. The hope was that Alecia had a little magic up her sleeve as I calmly asked, “Do you have anything with a bit more room, so the wife and I can have a little privacy?” Without hesitation and with minimal keystrokes, magic arrived. “I can upgrade you to a one-bedroom suite with a fold-out queen and add a roll-away bed for free!”
You know those moments when you want to reach over and kiss someone for saying all the right things? That moment is now, and even though the intention was there, I figured I better save it for the wife. After all, it’s that privacy that I’m digging for anyways. One thing was clear though, this vacation went from perfect, to perfectly awesome! We are by no means the high maintenance guests, but we already experienced the respect of one.
Perfect Location for a Perfect Resort
The St. Kitts Marriott has the typical layout of a large island resort. Multiple buildings flanked by three pools, a main pool where activities are held and is swim-up bar friendly and two smaller pools that flank the sides for a bit of peace and quiet. The pools were well maintained, adorned with tropical plants and clean and provided additional views for those who needed it.
I’ll be honest, in the off-season you shouldn’t expect too much in terms of things to do, but to our surprise that wasn’t the case. There were activities from the time the sun came up until it disappeared over Mt. Nevis not too far in the distance. We tend to spend our time discovering the island by rental car, but the fact that there is always something to do is comforting. But if you are more of the stay-at-the-resort type of traveler, the schedule would please you. There never seems to be a lapse in the options and the staff goes well out of their way to promote and excite. Of course, if you truly run out of things to do, you could always visit the casino, but then you may run out of something else.
Staying on that theme of water and activities, the Marriott boasts one of the best island views to be found across St. Kitts. Situated on South Frigate Bay on the Atlantic side of the island, the views of the south end of the island are imposing and dramatic. There are waves but a man-made reef and series of well-positioned rocks provide a buffer from the waves and conveniently calm the ocean down for swimming and snorkeling if you wish. What you sacrifice in calmness, you certainly overcome with scenery. The resort location is also within 15 minutes of many of the well-known beaches such as Cockleshell Beach where you will find Reggae Beach Bar among others.
As for the accommodations afforded at the Marriott, you will not be disappointed. There is plenty of room to spread out not only in the resort area itself, but in the rooms. Our one-bedroom villa was well equipped and gave everyone in the place ample room top spread out and get their relaxation on. Besides, the large bedroom, the villa came with a full kitchen which made our per day cost of living drop considerably since we then had the option to shop at a grocery store, which of course is located not far from the resort property. We also had a large family area as well as a dining room and large bathroom with Jacuzzi tub and walk-in shower. With the amount of space, this villa felt more like renting a vacation home than staying at a resort.
Our most recent trip to St. Kitts was indeed a terrific trip with much of the accolades going to the Marriott. I’m not much on heaping praise on hotels or resorts, but I feel they went out of their way to make us feel special. It’s true that we are no more important than many of the travelers that have stayed here and we’re certainly not high rollers from the casino standpoint, but you wouldn’t know it either. We left the calm blue waters happy and looking forward to another Marriott Resort vacation in the future and that’s a pretty good vote of confidence.
And just remember what they say in St. Kitts, “Rush Slowly!”
Live Within Your Means, Travel Beyond Them!