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"First time to Marriott St. Kitts" questions

travelplanner70

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1. How much does it cost to take a cab from the airport to the resort? Do they take charge cards or is it better to pay with cash?

2. Do most vendors give you the price in US$?

3. Is there a small store on the property where I can buy eggs, milk and bread?

4. Is it better to book a tour (around the island that stops at the fort and ends up at a beach) prior to leaving or once we get there?

5. Does it typically rain this time of year each afternoon, or is the weather pretty good throughout the day?

Thank you in advance for your advice.
 

bazzap

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1. How much does it cost to take a cab from the airport to the resort? Do they take charge cards or is it better to pay with cash?

2. Do most vendors give you the price in US$?

3. Is there a small store on the property where I can buy eggs, milk and bread?

4. Is it better to book a tour (around the island that stops at the fort and ends up at a beach) prior to leaving or once we get there?

5. Does it typically rain this time of year each afternoon, or is the weather pretty good throughout the day?

Thank you in advance for your advice.
1. As I recall the taxi fare was ~$15. We paid cash, I doubt they take credit cards.
2. Almost everywhere quotes and accepts $US. Some places, you will get a better deal
paying in $EC. You will recieve change in $EC anyway
3. There is a small store on site for essentials, there is now also a good RAMs supermarket
just a few minutes walk along the road
4. It probably makes little difference whether you book trips before travelling or after you
arrive, unless you are there for just a few days.
The local taxis are very good for tours or you can't go wrong with
https://lizpereirastourstore.shutterfly.com
5. It can rain at any time of the year, but Jan/Feb/Mar are normally the driest months
Enjoy.
 

Former Cruiser

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Many of the taxi drivers offer tours. We also booked ahead with Beulah Mills (tourstkittsandnevis@gmail.com). You can find her on TripAdvisor, http://www.tripadvisor.com/Location...s-Basseterre_St_Kitts_St_Kitts_and_Nevis.html. We decided what we wanted to see and she gave us a price, which was per hour.

One thing you should know is most of your tip at restaurants and bars are included in your total. We didn't find out right away and ended up giving 35% tips. Read more at http://www.fodors.com/world/caribbean/st-kitts-and-nevis/travel-tips/tipping-2813357

We walked to the above mentioned grocery store, but took a taxi back.
 

nanceetom

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We recently spent 2 weeks in St. Kitts. Eight days at the Beach Club and 7 days in the hotel.
The rate from the airport to hotel was $16 one way for 1-4 persons. If you are a couple and get someone to join, the rate is the same. This goes for all taxi rides, restaurants, etc.
All taxi fares are written in a postboard in the Marriott. I believe the furthest was a one way of $24 to areas near Sprat Net. Once you get to St. Kitts, some people use the same taxi driver for all trips; however, totally unecessary. Whereever you go, they will either wait, or return on a time both agree to or leave a card and the restaurant will call. The amount is still the same. The only time they might charge is when they wait at a grocery store.

Taxis are not a problem at all, but remember, there are a number of wonderful resaturants in walking distance.
We did take an island tour for $80 for 4 hours; four people in the taxi and split for the total of 80, very interesting. We also went to Nevis for a day trip and two other local St. Kitt's beaches. However, the last 7 days or so,we simply stayed at the Marriott beach, walked to the beach restaurants on the Carribbean side, and took short taxi rides to places such as Marshalls.
 

travelplanner70

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Thank you all. By the way, is it safe to walk to/from restaurants at night near the Marriott? And should I bring bug repellent?

Again, Thanks for your advice.
 

bazzap

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Thank you all. By the way, is it safe to walk to/from restaurants at night near the Marriott? And should I bring bug repellent?

Again, Thanks for your advice.
We have never had any concerns about walking to and from restaurants at night in the Frigate Bay area near the Marriott (and we have stayed some 10-12 weeks over the years)
If you read reports, St Kitts (like most places probably) does have crime and safety issues but these tend to be in other parts of the island and serious incidents seem to be more of a "locals" issue, apart from one affecting cruise ship passengers on tour a few years ago.
As for bugs, again we have never really had a problem ourselves.
The Marriott is on the Atlantic coast with a fairly consistent breeze which deters bugs.
On the Caribbean side and especially when we go walking in the rainforest we do use mossie repellent just to be safe, but we have either been lucky or there isn't really an issue.
Better to be safe than sorry though, I guess.
Enjoy.
 

Old Hickory

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Thank you all. By the way, is it safe to walk to/from restaurants at night near the Marriott? And should I bring bug repellent?

Again, Thanks for your advice.

Safe? The road is narrow and cars/vans/buses are driving fast. The sidewalk is not great and you'll be walking in the grass when no sidewalk is available. And getting across the roundabouts is not for the slow footed.

So be aware.

We walked to Frigate Bay beach and few times for dinner. Cathy's Ocean View is amazing local food.

We taxied everywhere else. Taxi service is good. The Doorman at the Marriott was always helpful in addressing cost of taxi trip, etc. Take care of your Doorman, early.

We were there last March, a year ago, and we had no issues with bugs. Not on the beach, on Nevis, or on our volcano summit hike. We took DEET but never used it.
 

hcarman

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We were at the St. Kitt's Vacation Club a couple of years back. We walked across the golf course to the little beach huts several nights for dinner and drinks - very casual but a good time and quite reasonable. Some restaurants were closed due to the off season. We also ate some meals on property itself. As another poster mentioned, we walked next door to the RAM grocery and got some supplies for the week. Seems to me we borrowed a cart or took one of our rolling suitcases to fill it up with supplies for the week.

We didn't have a big problem with bugs, and we were there doing peak hurricane season/rainy season (in fact, a storm came through and we learned that the Marriott hotel sits pretty high and is a strong building - many of the locals come there to ride out the storm.) The problem I did have was with a centipede that apparently I brushed against on the golf course. It swelled up and was a pretty nasty bite -but the locals knew immediately what it was.

We took the ferry to Nevis for the day. We also went diving, toured around the down town, and had a local cab take us on an awesome circle tour of the island. He even arranged lunch at a local plantation home. From what I remember there is a train on the island as well that does a tour - and we heard good things about it.
 

travelplanner70

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May one use the fitness center at the hotel free of charge if one is staying in the timeshare section?

Thanks in advance.
 

bazzap

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May one use the fitness center at the hotel free of charge if one is staying in the timeshare section?

Thanks in advance.
Yes definitely.
In fact I can't readily think of any free of charge hotel facilities that are not available free of charge for timeshare stays.
We use the spa facilities too.
The two are totally integrated on the resort.
 

dougef

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The only thing that is different that I can readily think of is the handling of pool towels. Hotel guests get towels at the towel hut near the main pool. Timeshare guests have different color towels and they are in the unit on arrival. They may be exchanged by calling housekeeping. The last two times we were there, they also had a small non-manned towel hut near the timeshare pool where you could exchange towels.
 

DannyMc

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Safe? The road is narrow and cars/vans/buses are driving fast. The sidewalk is not great and you'll be walking in the grass when no sidewalk is available. And getting across the roundabouts is not for the slow footed.

So be aware.

We walked to Frigate Bay beach and few times for dinner. Cathy's Ocean View is amazing local food.

We taxied everywhere else. Taxi service is good. The Doorman at the Marriott was always helpful in addressing cost of taxi trip, etc. Take care of your Doorman, early.

We were there last March, a year ago, and we had no issues with bugs. Not on the beach, on Nevis, or on our volcano summit hike. We took DEET but never used it.


How difficult was the volcano hike? Are hiking boots required? How cool was it at the top? Should long pants be worn for protection? How long did the round trip climb take?
 

Old Hickory

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How difficult was the volcano hike? Are hiking boots required? How cool was it at the top? Should long pants be worn for protection? How long did the round trip climb take?

I am a very experienced day hiker and trail runner, very fit for my late 50s, and I found the hike to be, at times, very difficult requiring scrambling up boulders and slippery well-worn trail (scrambling is using all fours). We were well prepared and equipped with trail running shoes, trail running clothes, and day packs. However, we passed a tour group that was mostly in tennis shoes and casual clothing.

The trail starts out easy and enjoyable as you feel like you're in the jungle then it gets challenging as you start your climb upward. It's not a built trail like you find in a national park or state park. Very few trail markings. There is a false summit where I suspect most people turn-around (the trail is difficult to find and follow past this area) but you are not yet at the summit. The actual summit does look down into the volcano crater but it's well forested so it just looks like a mountaintop. What was memorable were the occasional clouds moving through that would blanket the mountaintop. Our hike took most of the morning, I'd say at least 5 hours roundtrip.

We took a taxi there and paid the driver to return (he did). The road leading to the trailhead is rough and I would not drive a rental car down it unless you had a 4WD. Ask the doorman a day ahead to recommend a driver for this. You don't want to left that far away from the Marriott.

You need good gripping shoes, shorts are fine. You need to carry ample water and perhaps some energy bars. While there are guides you can hire I don't think it's necessary. It's a good hike regardless of whether you summit or not.
 

carpie99

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We have a family of 6 going in July ... I rented a car as multiple taxis would be annoying. Is it worth having a car on island or no?
 

Old Hickory

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Most if not all taxis are multi-seat vans. And most if not all will give you a business card so you can call them ahead for pick-up, quotes, etc.

Our doorman was excellent to steer us to the better services/drivers. But you need to show him some appreciation, ahead of time.
 

DannyMc

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MVC Trust Points
I am a very experienced day hiker and trail runner, very fit for my late 50s, and I found the hike to be, at times, very difficult requiring scrambling up boulders and slippery well-worn trail (scrambling is using all fours). We were well prepared and equipped with trail running shoes, trail running clothes, and day packs. However, we passed a tour group that was mostly in tennis shoes and casual clothing.

The trail starts out easy and enjoyable as you feel like you're in the jungle then it gets challenging as you start your climb upward. It's not a built trail like you find in a national park or state park. Very few trail markings. There is a false summit where I suspect most people turn-around (the trail is difficult to find and follow past this area) but you are not yet at the summit. The actual summit does look down into the volcano crater but it's well forested so it just looks like a mountaintop. What was memorable were the occasional clouds moving through that would blanket the mountaintop. Our hike took most of the morning, I'd say at least 5 hours roundtrip.

We took a taxi there and paid the driver to return (he did). The road leading to the trailhead is rough and I would not drive a rental car down it unless you had a 4WD. Ask the doorman a day ahead to recommend a driver for this. You don't want to left that far away from the Marriott.

You need good gripping shoes, shorts are fine. You need to carry ample water and perhaps some energy bars. While there are guides you can hire I don't think it's necessary. It's a good hike regardless of whether you summit or not.

Old Hickory,

Thanks for this detail information on the hike!
 

DannyMc

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Do the nicer restaurants like The Pavilion or Carambola Beach Club require men to wear long pants at night?
 

bazzap

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Do the nicer restaurants like The Pavilion or Carambola Beach Club require men to wear long pants at night?
I have tended to myself, although I have certainly seen others at both of these restaurants wearing longer style, tailored shorts.
 

fdough1

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For some fun I would recommend the shipwreck beach bar on south friars...go at happy hour. Interesting and eclectic crowd.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

turkel

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We have a family of 6 going in July ... I rented a car as multiple taxis would be annoying. Is it worth having a car on island or no?

You will need an international drivers license but I highly recommend renting a car unless you just want to chill at the Marriott. When we went a few years ago my now husband complained fiercely about the $$$ we spent on Taxis. He refuses to ever go back because he feels the expense was so excessive. He has a definite bad taste in his mouth for St. Kitts. Groceries were outrageous and it didn't help that a local girl who worked at the Marriott shop told him that locals pay a different price than visitors.

I have a different view of the trip than he does. But it's done we won't go back. What's funny is we spent so much more on a trip 2 years ago to Aruba but we are going back again this summer. The jeep we are renting for 2 weeks is 1k no complaints from hubby cause we had so much fun the first time we rented a jeep for 1 week and a car the second. Go figure.

I am sure you'll have a great time!!!
 

bazzap

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You will need an international drivers license but I highly recommend renting a car unless you just want to chill at the Marriott. When we went a few years ago my now husband complained fiercely about the $$$ we spent on Taxis. He refuses to ever go back because he feels the expense was so excessive. He has a definite bad taste in his mouth for St. Kitts. Groceries were outrageous and it didn't help that a local girl who worked at the Marriott shop told him that locals pay a different price than visitors.

I have a different view of the trip than he does. But it's done we won't go back. What's funny is we spent so much more on a trip 2 years ago to Aruba but we are going back again this summer. The jeep we are renting for 2 weeks is 1k no complaints from hubby cause we had so much fun the first time we rented a jeep for 1 week and a car the second. Go figure.

I am sure you'll have a great time!!!
It is interesting to read different people’s experiences.
We find the taxi prices reasonable in St Kitts and significantly better value than when we stayed in St Thomas, where they charge per person.
Grocery prices seem to be high whenever we have an island stay anywhere, because so much has to be imported. Island taxes are quite high too.
I can’t say we found them noticeably different to all the other Caribbean islands we have visited though.
We take a taxi once per trip into IGA Horsfords, the best supermarket in Basseterre, and they are used to waiting for you with a standard “shopping” price, which we find to offer a good choice and much better prices than more frequent shops at the Rams nearby to the resort.
 

mjm1

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Reviving this older thread.

We are headed to Marriott St Kitts for the first time in late April. I appreciate the tips I have read, but couldn't find any information on what food items one can bring in their bags. We won't bring any frozen items, but may bring some dry goods that are allowed. Any insights would be appreciated.

Best regards.

Mike
 

fdough1

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We brought frozen meat and fish the last time we went. Headed there next week and plan to do the same.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

chunkygal

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MVC Kauai, Wioahai

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1. How much does it cost to take a cab from the airport to the resort? Do they take charge cards or is it better to pay with cash? $15 dollars. no credit cards.

2. Do most vendors give you the price in US$? yes, and the convenience store across street translates prices and takes credit cards.

3. Is there a small store on the property where I can buy eggs, milk and bread? don't think they have those things, but the store right across street does.

4. Is it better to book a tour (around the island that stops at the fort and ends up at a beach) prior to leaving or once we get there? I am sure you would be fine when you get there. We did not do this.

5. Does it typically rain this time of year each afternoon, or is the weather pretty good throughout the day? Don't know we were there in December. no rain.

Thank you in advance for your advice.

I just posted a review of our visit in December 2018.
 

rthib

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About Taxi to Hotel, do I need to book in advance or just grab one at Airport?
Anyone rent a car or is better to just book someone to drive you around island?
Any day of the week better (or worse) to go to Nevis - going mid May?
 
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