Caribbean luxury for cheap: A review of the Park Hyatt St. Kitts

Jan 11, 2020

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To The Point

The Park Hyatt St. Kitts is a truly luxurious hotel at a reasonable (points) cost. Pros: beautiful property, well appointed rooms, delicious dining options. Cons: no golf or tennis on-property, expensive meals and spa treatments.

There’s no shortage of luxury hotels and resorts all over the Caribbean islands, but as a Hyatt loyalist, I was most excited for the chance to visit the Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour. I’ve had my eye on the property ever since it opened in 2017. From photos and other reports the resort seemed top-notch, and I was eager to see if it lived up to my expectations.

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So, when I was spending a week in the Caribbean doing some hotel and flight reviews, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to stay at the Park Hyatt. And I’m glad I visited because this may just be my new favorite points hotel in the Caribbean.

In This Post

Booking

This Caribbean luxury hotel is readily available for points redemptions. As a Category 7 World of Hyatt hotel, you can book rooms for only 30,000 points per night. Hyatt will soon be introducing peak and off-peak awards, so the points rate will soon vary from 25,000 to 35,000 points per night.

If you don’t already have World of Hyatt points, it’s easy to get them. The program is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards; you can instantly transfer those points to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio. If you open a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, which is currently offering a 60,000-point sign-up bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening, you’ll have enough points for two nights at the Park Hyatt after completing the minimum spending requirements.

World of Hyatt also allows you to use points to book or upgrade to suites. Paid rates at the Park Hyatt are sometimes quite reasonable, so often it makes sense to pay for the room and then use points to upgrade to a suite.

I was traveling during a slow week, so I paid cash for my stay. Instead of booking directly through Hyatt, I booked the hotel through the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) program, using my Platinum Card® from American Express. Booking through FHR brought with it a full suite of additional perks, including complimentary breakfast, an upgrade subject to availability, guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout and a $100 property credit. Not bad for a room that was going for $295 a night.

Location

Once you’re on the island of St. Kitts, getting to the Park Hyatt is easy. The hotel is just a 20-minute drive from the island’s airport. There aren’t any other hotels or beachfront properties near the hotel, so you really feel like you’re on a private island once you arrive.

Getting to St. Kitts, however, is a bit harder. American Airlines is the only airline offering daily nonstop service to St. Kitts from the U.S. There are other carriers that offer less frequent flight service but unless you’re based in South Florida, you may need to connect to get to SKB.

I flew British Airways from Antigua (ANU) to St. Kitts (SKB). After exiting customs, a hotel concierge was waiting to escort arriving guests to taxis. This nice touch of staffing someone at the airport was a harbinger of good things to come.

Check-in

Although I arrived at night, I immediately sensed that I’d love the hotel. The lobby is beautifully designed with candlelight and a koi pond lining the walkway to the reception desk.

The reception area is similarly beautiful in design. The two large workspaces are part of the expansive room, which doubles as the hotel’s “living room.”

Because I’d given my name to the taxi concierge at the airport, the front desk greeted me by name when I arrived. They had all my arrival paperwork waiting for me — true five-star service.

The check-in agent thanked me for being a World of Hyatt Globalist member, and told me that she’d upgraded me to a beach-view suite, a benefit of my Globalist membership and FHR booking.

She explained all the FHR benefits and offered me a welcome drink of rum punch, as well as a bottle of water and a scented towel.

I was escorted to the room in one of the hotel’s many golf carts that criss-cross the expansive property day and night.

Room

As if I hadn’t already been wowed by the design of the reception area, my room took things to another level.

Each room is located in a stand-alone villa. I was assigned Room 101 in Villa No. 1.

My ground-floor suite was simply stunning. All the furniture and paint colors tastefully blended together in a one-of-a-kind display of relaxed Caribbean design.

I entered the suite through the living room, which featured a comfortable-looking L-shaped sectional sofa, chairs and a table.

My welcome amenity of fruit and chocolate truffles was set out on the table.

I was satisfied by the tasty welcome amenity, but if you’re still hungry there was a well-stocked minibar in the living room as well.

 

The relaxing theme of the living room was carried out in the bedroom. The king-size bed was a tad too hard for my liking but I still managed to get my eight hours of sleep.

Both the living room and bedroom had well-placed outlets and USB ports. Wi-Fi was included in my stay, and at 15 Mbps download and upload, it was sufficiently fast to remain connected to life back home.

The large bathroom took up the entire length of the bedroom. There was a double vanity, a freestanding bathtub, a marble-clad walk-in shower that certainly passed the TPG shower test and a separate WC.

The Park Hyatt St. Kitts features my favorite Le Labo amenities, though I would’ve much preferred the Bergamote 22 scent to Santal 33.

Just past the bathroom, you’ll find a closet equipped with plenty of shelves and clothes hangers. The safe is located in one of the closet drawers.

The ultimate highlight of the room was the massive balcony overlooking the water. There were two chairs, a table, a small sofa and a conveniently-placed outlet, which made it the perfect place to work.

Listening to the crashing waves was simply magical. Fortunately, that experience didn’t need to end when it got too hot outside. The sliding balcony doors could remain open all day and night, and there was even a mosquito shield to block out the bugs.

Food and beverage

I didn’t get a chance to try all three of the hotel’s restaurants, but I was really impressed with what I tasted.

The main restaurant is located in the Great House, which was designed like the great houses that once existed on the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis during the era of sugar plantations. Historically, a great house was a gathering space for receptions, garden cocktails and afternoon teas.

The Park Hyatt St. Kitts Great House continues this tradition by offering a range of experiences. In addition to the restaurant, the Great House was home to the concierge desks, two bars, a small gallery, fireplace and a small chef’s garden.

The Great House menus can be found below.

The all-day restaurant serves an assortment of local and international cuisine. Everything I tasted for both breakfast and dinner was spectacular.

Some hotels are really strict about the breakfast allowance with FHR bookings. The Park Hyatt was the exact opposite. I was told that I could order whatever I wanted and it’d be adjusted at checkout. I didn’t have the stomach space to test their claim, so I stuck with the $35 buffet.

The buffet was so expansive that it occupied two rooms. In the main room, there was a massive bread selection, prosciutto station, various cereals and nuts and an omelet bar.

In the auxiliary room, there was a hot-food buffet, which included breakfast staples like bacon, potatoes, pancakes and French toast, as well as a fruit bar, cheese selection, smoked-fish tray, yogurts and poached fruit.

It took me a while to work my way through the buffet, but, for the sake of research, I managed. Everything I tried was fresh and flavorful — exactly as I’d expect from a five-star resort.

I was so impressed with breakfast at the Great House that I decided to have my one dinner there. I ordered the fried eggplant as my appetizer and the grilled pumpkin with curried Caribbean chana as my entrée.

Both were great— I loved the romesco sauce with the eggplant and the mixture of the sweet and smoky flavor in the main dish was remarkable.

The other two restaurants are the Stone Barn and Fisherman’s Village. The Stone Barn was designed to represent one of the historic plantation barns that stored produce during inclement weather. This adults-only restaurant focuses on farm-fresh cuisine.

The three menus can be found below:

Fisherman’s Village is the hotel’s dedicated seafood restaurant located near the entrance of the hotel. This open-air space was built on stilts on the water’s edge and serves lunch and dinner.

The à la carte menus can be found below:

Poolside dining is available from 11 a.m. until sunset. The menu is varied and caters to a wide range of guest preferences.

If prefer to eat in the privacy of your room or on your balcony, there’s a 24/7 room-service menu.

Overall, the food and beverage selections at the hotel are wonderful. Everything I tried during my visit tasted great, and the prices weren’t too outrageous for a secluded beach resort.

Amenities

If you’re looking to escape the cold and relax poolside or beachside, the Park Hyatt is the place for you. However, if you’re not content with hours spent relaxing, there may not be enough to keep you occupied.

The highlight of the resort’s amenities were the two pools, split across two levels. The picturesque upper-level Ramparts Pool echoes the history of the Brimstone Hill Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is located on the island of St. Kitts.

This pool is reserved for adults only and was considerably less crowded than the main Lagoon Pool.

The Lagoon Pool has both deep and shallow parts, as well as an infinity edge overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

Each towel hut had complimentary SPF 30 sunscreen, as well as cooling gel and chilled water.

There’s also an artificial beach overlooking the Lagoon Pool. There was ample seating around the pool deck, so you don’t have to worry about getting up early to reserve a chaise lounge.

 

The hotel also has an authentic beach area with a designated swimming area. There were a few chaise lounges on the beach, but not nearly as many as there were by the pool.

If you prefer more privacy, there are four private relaxation villas located just below the Ramparts Pool. These villas can be reserved with the concierge for a flat-fee of $300, which includes soft drinks, fresh fruit, two cocktails and an afternoon tea service.

Nonmotorized water sports, such as snorkeling, kayaking and paddleboarding, were included with my stay and could be arranged at the recreation hut located by the beach.

The other main attraction is the hotel’s expansive spa. Like the rest of the hotel, the spa is beautifully designed and features nine treatment rooms. During my stay, I had a deep-tissue massage, which I enjoyed. It was above average, but not the best massage I’ve ever had.

Even if you don’t reserve a treatment, the spa facilities can be accessed by hotel guests and include a heated plunge pool, outdoor showers, a sauna and steam room.

There is also an old open-air sugar mill that was converted into a small yoga studio, which you could reserve for a private yoga session.

The spa is also home to the resort’s 24/7 fitness center. The 1,750-square-foot room features modern Life Fitness cardiovascular and strength-training machines, as well as a small stretching area.

If you’re traveling with children, there is a kids’ club called Island Fort, with both an indoor play area and outdoor jungle gym.

The hotel doesn’t have a golf course or tennis courts but will arrange a round of golf or game of tennis at a nearby hotel.

As I mentioned, if you’re not content with relaxing by the pool, you might not find enough to do at the Park Hyatt. But if you are, then you’ll have access to two gorgeous swimming pools along with an expansive beach area.

Service

The hotel’s wonderful service started the moment I arrived on the island when I was greeted by the taxi concierge. Meal service was as professional as you’d find at a Michelin-starred restaurant. The spa attendants were equally friendly and catered to my every need. And the poolside attendants were good about keeping my water refilled.

I don’t have enough good things to say about the service. Aside from the physical beauty of the property, it was the people working at the Park Hyatt who really made my stay special. Everyone greeted me with a smile and even stopped what they were doing to wish me a good day or inquire about my plans.

Overall impression

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The Park Hyatt St. Kitts may just be the Caribbean’s best points hotel. Aside from the great redemption value, the hotel is truly spectacular.

The beautifully designed public areas provide a welcoming setting from the moment you arrive. The rooms are well-appointed; the food and beverage options are both extensive and delicious. If your idea of relaxation includes sitting by the pool or beach, then you’ll find plenty to do at the hotel. Plus, you’ll be treated to five-star service throughout your stay.

So, leave those sweaters at home. The Caribbean sun is shining brightly on the Park Hyatt St. Kitts.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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