St. Kitts has long been a sleepy Caribbean island, with few hotels and resorts of note, aside from a couple of traditional plantation house inns, the best known of which, Rawlins Plantation, burned down in May 2015. Fine beaches are also few. And yet, St. Kitts is rapidly emerging as the Caribbean destination of the moment. The remarkable Kittitian Hill development, the centerpiece of which is the Belle Mont Farm resort, opened in 2015, and Park Hyatt’s first Caribbean property is scheduled to debut at the end of this year.
St. Kitts is divided into two distinct areas: The north is dominated by a dormant volcano, 3,792-foot Mount Liamuiga, which long ago was responsible for the black-sand beaches; a smaller peninsula to the southeast of the capital, Basseterre, has a number of white-sand beaches, and it is here that Park Hyatt has chosen to build. You might reasonably suppose that the decision to site Belle Mont Farm on the verdant slope of the volcano, away from the attractive beaches, would prove misguided at best. But the dream of Trinidadian entrepreneur Val Kempadoo was to meld concepts of sustainability and eco-friendliness with high-end tourism. These terms do not always cohabit with ease, but our recent experience suggests he has made an impressive start.