Historic, 35-acre property with exclusive, boutique feel
Panoramic views from Mt. Liamuiga to the sea
65-foot, spring-fed swimming pool surrounded by stonework
British colonial cottages and rooms, some with sweeping sea views
Many rooms offer private plunge pools and hot tubs
Popular Royal Palm restaurant serves all meals
Spa set in nature and overlooking a rainforest canopy
Rainforest trails, croquet, and tennis courts
Daily shuttle to beaches and downtown Basseterre
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Taxi fares and meal costs can add up
No TVs in rooms (pro for some)
Set on 35 lush acres at the foot of Mt. Liamuiga, Ottley’s Plantation is an upscale property that occupies a restored 18th-century sugar plantation. The family-run establishment displays an attractive mix of history, nature, and British colonial charm throughout. Standout features include a popular restaurant, a cocktail bar, and a spring-fed pool set amid original-stone sugar mill walls. There’s also croquet, tennis, a spa, and majestic rainforest trails to explore. Its 23 rooms have plantation-style interiors and feature minibars, terraces or verandahs with sweeping sea views (in some), and thoughtful touches like welcome scones and fresh ice. Supreme categories have huge, hot tub-equipped bathrooms and private plunge pools. All in all, it's an appealing package for tranquility-seeking couples, but travelers craving luxury closer to the beach could try Nevis’ Nisbet Plantation.
History meets fairy tale in natural setting with sugar plantation remnants
Entering this 35-acre property, two rows of soaring royal palms line the entrance driveway, setting the elegant tone for what lies ahead. The approach to the Grand House (where guests check-in) shifts to another time and place. In this case, an 18th-century sugar plantation -- flawlessly restored and reinvented as a boutique hotel by a family of booksellers from Princeton, who own and run it to this day. Grounds embrace a sloping green hill framed with palms, plantation cottages, and a “mountain to sea” panorama.
Dressed in sunny yellow and white trim, the Grand House is poised high on the property with wraparound verandahs offering the best view vantage point. It contains some guest rooms, a quaint reception area shared with a gift shop, and the Grand Room -- organized with Old Worldly pieces inside original timber walls. This space becomes the lobby when it’s busy or big groups check-in, but is otherwise a calm space to linger.
The main gathering spot is inside the sugar mill stone ruins, where the spring-fed pool, sun terrace, and semi-enclosed bar bisect the Inn’s Royal Palm restaurant -- an iconic highlight on the St Kitts dining trail. White wrought-iron chairs surround circular dining tables with pastel-peach tablecloths, perfectly set for dinner with an air of European elegance. Glass wall lanterns and fairy lights illuminate the space for a romantic touch.
Surrounding these structures are lush, tropical gardens and a soaring rainforest canopy. The Mango Orchard Spa is set in this vegetation, inside a little wooden hut. It's a slowed-down feeling overall and one that typically draws couples (and wedding parties) along with some families.
At the foot of Mt. Liamuiga, 10 minutes to beaches and 15 minutes to Basseterre
The journey to Ottley’s from Basseterre town only takes 15 minutes or so. But the trip feels something like an off-the-beaten-track adventure, leading up hilly roads and through quaint colorful villages. The property is set on an old sugar plantation at the foot of majestic Mt. Liamuiga, on the island’s east side. It's around a 20-minute drive from Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport and the Basseterre Ferry Terminal -- which offers a regular ferry service to Nevis. It’s also 15 minutes by car to St. Kitts Scenic Railway (through historic sugar cane fields) and beaches. A free, once-daily shuttle takes guests to the beach, downtown Basseterre, and a nearby golf course. Taxis can also be arranged at reception, but guests planning to seriously explore beyond hotel grounds may be advised to hire a car.
Mostly cottages dressed in plantation-inspired decor and with plunge pools
Plantation elegance flows into rooms in Standard, Deluxe, and Supreme Categories. Some are set in the Grand House, but they mostly comprise portions of duplex plantation cottages (some are original stone construction). The cottages unfold down one side of a long drive, with their own landscaped tropical gardens, spacious terraces (Supremes have plunge pools), and sweeping sea views (or garden views in some Standard options). Many interiors are charming, adorned with graceful tributes to British colonial decor. Beneath plantation ceilings, dark wood antique-style pieces complement pretty florals on cushions and beds. Plantation shutters double as windows framing lush views; watercolor artworks celebrate the tropical plantation surrounds; and garden-fresh bouquets bring the setting indoors.
Supreme bathrooms are luxuriously large -- with twin granite-like vanities and giant hot tubs (big enough for two), brass fixtures, separate showers, and Hollywood lights illuminating huge mirrors. Hairdryers, free individual toiletries, robes, and bath and pool towels are provided. Standard bathrooms have showers, while other categories have shower/tub combos.
A platter of house-made muffins and scones with fresh fruit is provided in rooms on arrival, along with a mini cooler full of ice. But Standards aren't as luxurious, so those craving lush perks should opt for a higher category. All rooms feature minibars and coffee- and tea-making facilities. They’re also equipped with air-conditioning, ceiling fans, ironing facilities, and safes. An evening turndown service closes shutters and switches on the air-conditioning, and free Wi-Fi is provided. A Royal Suite (one-bedroom) Cottage, and a three-bedroom Grand Villa are also available.
Romantic features include a spa, highly rated restaurant and bar, spring-fed pool, and rainforest trails
Besides nonstop view-gazing, there’s plenty to do and explore across the 35 acre grounds. Mango Orchard Spa offers a range of massages, wraps, facials, body and aromatherapy treatments, and mani-pedicures -- all provided in a hut overlooking the rainforest canopy. The Royal Palm restaurant is highly regarded by St. Kitts locals and visitors alike, not only for its lovely setting, but for its emphasis on quality. Open for breakfast (for a fee), lunch, Sunday brunch, and dinner, it has a daily-changing dinner menu, though Caribbean fusion is the general theme. There’s also a solid wine list, and cocktails are top notch. The 65-foot pool is spring-fed, and cocooned by the restaurant and bar’s stone plantation walls, which make it a prime sunbathing spot. There’s a tennis court, a lush croquet lawn, and rainforest trails to explore as well. The grounds also feature an array of gardens worth meandering. There’s a palm-tree forest, a meditation garden that overlooks the rainforest canopy, and the walk deep inside the soaring rainforest canopy itself. There’s plenty of parking should guests hire a car. Ottley’s is a popular wedding venue, and caters to groups of up to 40 for small events, meetings, and retreats. Free Wi-Fi is provided throughout, and there is a gift shop at reception.
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