Basseterre is the colourful, laid back, capital of St Kitts. It sits on the bay on the south-west coast of the island overlooking Port Zante where the cruise ships dock. The view of the bay is what you’ll see as you step onto the terrace of the aptly named Ocean Terrace Inn. I spent three nights at this newly renovated 4-star hotel during my visit to St Kitts and just had to stop a moment and soak up that colourful view every time I crossed the terrace.
A rum punch clinking with ice and smiling hotel staff greeted me after my long flight. What a welcome sight!
I had my first sip of the island’s national drink while taking in that view and enjoying the balmy afternoon Caribbean breeze. It was the perfect introduction to St Kitts and probably the best rum punch I had that week, and I tested quite a few. Strictly in the name of research of course…
Ocean Terrace Inn, St Kitts
Ocean Terrace Inn, or OTI for short, has just been renovated and has a fresh, bright and breezy feel about it. It’s arranged on a series of terraces with a lagoon-style pool on the lowest level. The hotel’s reception and Verandah Restaurant are on the entrance level along with the terrace and that fabulous view. There’s another terrace on the next level down and rooms on various levels throughout the property. Lush planting, tropical trees and palms fill the borders and gardens with colour. There’s a chilled atmosphere and staff are friendly and keen to make sure everything is perfect throughout your stay – which it was.
My Room at Ocean Terrace Inn
I was shown to my Luxury Poolside View Room by smiling Tasheen who carried my case. There were quite a few steps and I couldn’t have managed my suitcase alone. The room was bright and spacious and I did what I always do first – I went straight to the window and checked out the view. Actually, it was was better than that; I went out onto the balcony where I could see Basseterre through the palm trees and hear the gentle sound of fountains in the pool below. A table and chairs on the balcony was the perfect spot for my blogging office during my stay. I had no problems connecting to wifi anywhere in the hotel – it was speedy too.
My room was light and airy and had a fresh colour scheme of yellow, claret and light green with tropical artwork on the walls. There were two queen-sized beds with an upholstered, corner seating area, desk and flat-screen TV. The tiled floor, ceiling fan and air-conditioning kept the room nicely cool and there was a bottle of complimentary water in the mini-fridge each day. I slept really well in the uber comfy bed.
A spacious area between the bedroom and bathroom contained lots of storage space. In fact, I’ve seen smaller hotel bathrooms! There were more than enough coat hangers (proper ones – not my pet-hate type attached to the rail that you need to wrestle with). A large chest of drawers had ample drawer space and there were two pool towels and a safe. An iron and ironing board were also available should I have felt the urge to get domesticated. I didn’t.
The bathroom was a really good size and had a roomy shower and separate bath tub. The toilet, although in the same room, was sectioned off. I loved that there was a unit with double hand basins and lots of room for all my girlie gear. The bathroom products were good; I especially loved the honey shower gel. Towels were plentiful soft and fluffy and there was a proper hair dryer.
Food and Drink at Ocean Terrace Inn
Breakfast at Ocean Terrace Inn is in the Veranda restaurant which, of course, has a fabulous colonial-style wrap-around veranda with panoramic views across the bay. I can totally recommend the eggs Benedict but omelettes, cooked English breakfast or a continental cold breakfast are also on the menu. If you fancied the local dish of salt fish and Johnny cakes they were available too.
Stop by the Terrace Bar for sundowners as the sun sets and then on to the Verandah for dinner. There’s a Caribbean buffet once a week which you shouldn’t miss as you’ll get a taste of all the local favourite dishes with live music. Lunch is also served at the Verandah. We had an impromptu cooking class with chef in the hotel kitchen who showed us how to make red snapper with creole sauce. Delicious.
Fisherman’s Wharf is the hotel’s second signature restaurant and is just across the road outside the hotel grounds. It sits on a pier over the waters of the Caribbean and serves up excellent food. Choose from seafood, lobster, steaks, chicken and their famous conch chowder from the open kitchen. There’s also a great range of cocktails to be sipped while listening to the lapping water.
The Pool and Facilities
The lagoon-style pool is surrounded by lush tropical planting and it’s easy to find a private little nook to while away a few hours. There are plenty of parasols and sun beds and the sound of the waterfalls are beautifully relaxing. Head to the shady poolside bar for drinks and snacks.
There’s a small fitness room with weights and cardio equipment and a yoga class on Sunday mornings. If you need it there are a business station and laundry service with babysitting facilities on request. Scuba diving lessons, PADI courses and water-sports can all be booked up through the front desk along with many other island activities and tours. Check availability for Ocean Terrace Inn. Ocean Terrace Inn.
Ocean Terrace Inn is an excellent base from which to explore Basseterre and the historical sights in the north of island. It’s also not too far from the southern Peninsular and one of St Kitt’s best beaches. The hotel offers a complimentary daily shuttle service if you want to wiggle your toes in the balmy waters. A fifteen-minute drive will get you to the airport.
What to See and Do in Basseterre
Take a walk into Basseterre which will take you around 10-15 minutes depending on how many times you stop to take in the view. Once there you can visit Port Zante where the cruise ships dock. Pelican Mall has duty-free shops selling jewellery, local crafts and souvenirs.
The Saturday Market
The Saturday market is full of buzz so drop by to check out where the locals shop; they’re very friendly and like to stop for a chat. Buy some of the homemade chilli sauce but once home use sparingly. It’ll blow your head off! Street food vendors set up stall around the market and on bay Road and are worth checking out for some mouth-watering street-food and a bit of local banter. You can find out more about St Kitt’s food and restaurants in my food and restaurant guide.
Gallery Café on the Square on Independence Square is a must-do for a snack or coffee. This little place is a gem and I’d recommend the wahoo bagels and a fresh passion fruit juice. Colourful tropical themed artwork by local artists is on display so it’s the perfect place to buy some souvenir art.
Ballahoo is a great place to eat. Upstairs on the verandah you’ll get a great view of St Kitt’s answer to Picadilly Circus and the island’s old green clock. The National Museum is close to the Circus where you can learn about the island’s history.
So, Ocean Terrace Inn is the perfect hotel for exploring Basseterre and makes a great base for seeing the rest of the island. Newly refurbed with bright fresh colours and excellent food and restaurants. When you need to relax after exploring the island the pool area is just the place.
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British Airways fly to St Kitts from London Gatwick twice weekly on Saturdays and Wednesdays with the flight stopping at nearby Antigua en-route.
I’m a St Kitts Official Ambassador – my thanks to St Kitts Tourism Authority for arranging my visit to St Kitts, OTI for hosting my three night’s stay with them and to British Airways for flying me there. As ever, all views and opinions are my own.
Have you been to St Kitts? What’s your favourite part of the island?
Suzanne Jones is creator, writer and photographer at The Travelbunny. When she’s not indulging her wanderlust you’ll most likely find her enjoying coastal walks in her home county of East Sussex, UK.
Suzanne co-writes Sussex Bloggers which showcases the best of East & West Sussex.