Your only destination to all things CARNIVAL
St. Kitts and Nevis are the sort of islands that dreams are made of: a lush tropical landscape, pristine beaches, luxury hotels, gourmet restaurants and ultimate privacy; top that off with a world-class music festival and you have yourself Destination Paradise!
The St Kitts Music Festival which celebrated 21 years in 2017, has been going from strength to strength. Among the major international stars who have headlined over the years are 50 Cent, Damian Marley, Sean Paul, Michael Bolton, John Legend, Kelly Rowland, Shaggy, Tarrus Riley and Lionel Richie.
On 22 June the festival kicked off in style at Warner Park Stadium. Opening night was my first soca and calypso festival experience. Many home-grown and regional acts were performing, some that were previously unknown to me, but the energy and positive vibes they brought to the stage meant my blood was pumping from beginning to end, especially during performances by Stadics, Ultimate Rejects and Shanna. Alison Hinds lived up to her title as the Queen of Soca she commanded the crowd and had thousands of people jumping and wining in unison.
Fans of international artistes had much to look forward to in the following two nights, with the GooGoo Dolls, Shabba Ranks, Phyllisia Ross, K Michelle, Creedence Clearwater Revisited and Third World performing on stage.
After a sleepless few days at the main festival, I had a relaxing Sunday lunch at Rhythmz on the Beach at Spice Mill on Cockleshell Beach, enjoying a delicious buffet while listening to the smooth vibes of the live band against a backdrop of turquoise waters.
Saving some energy for White Sands Arabia at the Carambola Beach Club was my best decision! This white-themed event was my party highlight of the year and the perfect festival fringe event closing.
During the festival, staying at the St Kitts Marriott Resort in Frigate Bay is a must. Enjoy some relaxation by the pool or on the beach or spot the artistes walking through the lobby for some photo ops.
When you are ready for relaxation, head to Kittitian Hill’s Belle Mont Farm to experience vibrant nature, breathtaking views and luxurious boutique hotel accommodation set amidst tropical gardens. The restaurant takes you on an unrivalled culinary journey with a farm-to-table concept.
The island offers plenty of opportunities for excursions. Brimstone Hill Fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is maintained in immaculate condition. For the thrill-seeker, zip-lining through the tree tops with views of the ocean at the Sky Safari is an exhilarating experience. The St Kitts Scenic Railway in Basseterre is claimed to be “the last railway in the Caribbean” and takes visitors on a cultural journey to learn about the important role of the sugar cane trade in the history of St Kitts.
A visit to the island of Nevis is highly recommended. It’s just a 10-minute water taxi journey away from St Kitts and you find yourself on the picturesque Oualie Beach.
I stayed in Princess Diana’s hotel of choice, the Montpelier Plantation and Beach. It is set by the foothills of Nevis Peak and built around one of the many 18th-century sugar plantations on the island. The Golden Rock Inn is another favourite boutique hotel of mine for its secluded luxury rooms and being able to enjoy fine dining while bird watching in the immaculate landscaped garden.
At the Nevisian Heritage Village, Miss Patricia takes you on an unforgettable cultural journey of the evolution of social history by sharing heartfelt and uplifting stories of slave families in the Carib Indian era, which is both educational and emotional.
Sunshine’s lounge and grill is set on a great beach and arguably offers the best local food on the island. You can’t go there without trying Mr Sunshine’s famous, secret concoction: Killer Bee rum punch.
These are just some of my many wonderful experiences on these stunning islands! Put it in your diary: the 22nd annual St Kitts Music Festival is from 27th of June until the 1st of July 2018.