Paradise Encountered, A Week At St Kitts’ Ocean Terrace Inn

As part of a Contra Agreement that was facilitated by St Kitts Tourism’s US based Adams Unlimited Public Relations Manager, Cathy Preece, Caribbean Graphic’s Publisher Tony McWatt and Director of Business Development/Photographer Lyn Balram visited the island’s Ocean Terrace Inn for a one-week stay that lasted from October 31 through to November 6. On all accounts it was an outstandingly pleasurable experience that the duo will now never forget and which they will always fondly remember. So much so that McWatt has already started scheming plans for a return to OTI during the coming year.

The St Kitts Ocean Terrace Inn is an intimate 4 Star boutique hotel, where ‘the little things’ make all the difference. Having been totally renovated in 2015, it now offers state-of-the-art amenities, chic public areas, mouth-watering cuisine curated by International Chefs, modern accommodations and a level of personalized service that has set a whole new standard for St Kitts tourism. Immersed as it is in gardens rich with colorful flowering shrubs and trees, which feature a manmade lagoon pool that meanders lazily through the grounds and its lush landscaping, Ocean Terrace Inn is located high atop one of St. Kitts most spectacular vistas, overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the capital city of Basseterre and the neighboring island of Nevis.

As Lyn and Tony found out upon arrival, much to their gleeful delight, OTI’s 34 perfectly appointed air-conditioned guest rooms and suites with complimentary Wi-Fi all have private furnished balconies or patios. Room types range from standard, terrace garden rooms, superior hillside ocean view to deluxe luxury poolside view rooms and luxury ocean terrace suites.

Lyn’s room was a “presidential” luxury suite, overlooking the hotel’s courtyard and furnished with a bathroom the size of which would almost match that of standard rooms in many other hotels. The shower was sufficiently large as to accommodate her entire family if they’d been there with her. Much to her delight there was also a walk-in closest!

Tony’s room, though marginally smaller, offered the benefit of double balconies. The first overlooking the Bay that borders the island’s capital city Basseterre, provided spectacular almost daily views of arriving and departing cruise ships with neighboring Nevis visible in the distant background. The second balcony overlooked the same courtyard as Lyn’s. Needless to say most of Tony’s hotel time was spent sitting on the Ocean view balcony, simply basking in the view of its breathtaking scenery while sipping on his favorite poison.

Ocean Terrace Inn also offers an array of activities and amenities to its guests including a lagoon style swimming pool with beautiful cascading waterfalls; poolside bar; complimentary daily shuttle service to Friar’s Bay Beach and room service for in-room dining. Due to their hectic daily St Kitts exploration activities however, there was little time for either Lyn or Tony to enjoy any of the aforementioned amenities.

They did however partake of the amazing cuisine offered at OTI’s two restaurants, the Verandah and the completely newly renovated Fisherman’s Wharf. One of the most memorable events of their entire stay was the Sunday night dinner they enjoyed with the hotel’s Master Chef Larry Montrose. He prepared a series of mouth-watering dishes for the two, with names that were far too exotic to be remembered and tastes that were divinely delicious.

That dinner was hosted by Chef Larry at Ocean Terrace Inn’s main restaurant, The Verandah, which offers both indoor and outdoor dining and is conveniently open for breakfast and lunch daily. At night, as was the Caribbean Graphic duo’s experience, the Verandah transforms into a romantic sophisticated setting with Caribbean culinary delights.

The Graphic Lyn duo were also privileged to attend the official Saturday November 4 reopening of the hotel’s second restaurant, the Fisherman’s Wharf which had suffered somewhat severe hurricane damage.

Perched on a pier stretching out into the Caribbean Sea, Fisherman’s Wharf is a combination of spectacular views of Basseterre with a menu dominated by fresh seafood. Chef Larry and his crew prepare regional flavors and only the freshest local ingredients for an authentic Caribbean experience. The reopening was very well attended, mostly by locals seeking to experience the Fisherman’s Wharf charming ambiance and its amazing food.

While not enjoying the OTI’s spectacular views, its amazing food and the wonderful hospitality of its overly friendly staff, the Caribbean Graphic duo were busy taking in as many of St Kitts tourist attractions as was possible during their one week stay. These included numerous shopping visits to the Cruise Ship harbor, populated as it is with countless stores offering tourist oriented items for sale. During one of their many visits they even stumbled across a Guyanese owned restaurant where Tony delightfully in engaged in the consumption of a mutton curry and roti, while sipping a Carib Beer.

As St Kitts adopted national beer, Carib can be bought at places within the island at pricing as low as US$1.oo. A discovery that was much to Tony’s delight. Thanks to some last minute arrangements by their Canadian based, good friend, Carib Manager Horace Bhopalsingh, the Caribbean Graphic duo were also able to visit the brand St Kitts brewery. Although the brewery wasn’t actually in operation at the time, the visit still proved to be most informative and educational.

So too were the visits the pair paid to some of St Kitts’ other most notable attractions, including Brimstone Hill and the Batik Village. There was also a Sunday, November 5 excursion on the island’s scenic railway. It being Tony’s actual birthday he gleefully engaged in the consumption of copious amounts of the complimentary rum punch that was being served on the train, while enjoying the amazing scenic delights that punctuated the two-hour train ride.

Prior to the St Kitts Tourism hosted Sunday Tour, which included a delicious lunch at the rustic roadside restaurant Cooper’s with its most unusual dining settings, the Canadians had also ventured over to neighboring Nevis, via a forty-five minute ferry boat that was as relaxing as it was enjoyable. They were met on arrival by one of the OTI General Manager Chris Ghita’s very good friends who willingly showed them around.

The highlight of that visit was Lyn’s accidental meeting, while touring the island’s hot spring, with a cousin she’d never actually met before and her subsequent far too brief hookup with her uncle whom she had not seen for almost forty years. The rest of the duo’s time on Nevis was spent relaxing at the island’s world famous Sunshine’s Beach Bar indulging in its legendary lethal Beestinger rum punch. Unfortunately time did not allow for Tony to attempt to break the bar’s existing Beestinger consumption record of 17, an undertaking he would happily have pursued.

As the saying goes, nothing good lasts forever and all good things must eventually come to an end. So it was therefore, after their incredibly enjoyable one week escape stay at the St Kitts Ocean Terrace Inn, enjoying as they did all of the hotel’s many delights and those of the island as well, it was time for the Caribbean Graphic duo to wend their way back home to their Canadian realities.