It’s been said that the world’s greatest luxury isn’t money, influence or even power—it’s time. There’s even a name for feeling like you have more than enough time: “time affluence.” This concept is something the new Yu Lounge Traveler Services provides in spades from the moment you land in St. Kitts. When I touched down in St. Kitts a sun shower was threatening. Should I run to the terminal for fear of getting drenched? No need. The Yu Lounge already had a pristine Mercedes-Benz and driver waiting for me on the tarmac—umbrella at the ready. And that’s not only for inclement weather, all Yu Lounge guests receive this welcome. What comes next? Rushing through customs, hustling to get your luggage? Passing through the Yu Lounge things are different. After a brief drive from the tarmac to the lounge, I was greeted with a rum cocktail and a full lunch. The lounge itself encourages those arriving to linger with soothing lighting, speedy WiFi, and comfortable seats—all in a spacious, relaxing environment. While I sat back and enjoyed my time affluence, my arrival was processed through the lounge’s in-house immigration office, my luggage materialized as if by magic, and the rum tasted delicious. Did I mention there’s an outdoor deck complete with lounge chairs in the departures wing for a last taste of the Kittitian sun? At the Yu Lounge you can definitely expect a taste of time affluence… among many other types.
St Kitts & Nevis
This eco-friendly property is unlike anywhere else in the Caribbean. A 400-acre working farm built within a sustainable community on Mount Liamuiga, the low-key luxury resort has St. Kitt’s requisite gingerbread trim and banana-plant landscaping. Here, however, signs tell guests when the fruit is ripe enough to pick—even the golf course is designed to be harvested. Belle Mont’s 84 clapboard cottages have open-air baths and wrap-around verandas that look out on the neighboring islands of Saba and St. Eustatius, but the resort’s real draw lies in its six farm-to-table restaurants, where guests can enjoy global takes on West Indian specialties (think papaya lamb stew and wine-braised pork with coconut, pumpkin, and chocolate) under the stars.
Perched high above the sea on the east coast of St. Kitts is Brimstone Hill, a massive stone fortress built by African slaves for the British during the 17th and 18th centuries. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the military stronghold, which took 100 years to complete, is considered one of the best-preserved fortifications in the region. From the top, you can see six neighboring islands on a clear day.
The ancient art of wax-resist dyeing reaches a whole new level at Caribelle Batik, located on Romney Manor. At the factory, you can watch artists as they boil hues, apply wax, and dye fabrics, creating the brightly colored, intricately patterned clothing that’s typical of St. Kitts. After taking in the process, browse the wide selection of wraps, dresses, men’s shirts, bandanas, bags, wall hangings, and more, which are among the most desired products in the Caribbean.
Basseterre, St Kitts & Nevis
For an introduction to the Rastafarian culture and lifestyle, head to OJ’s Ital Cart in Basseterre. The brightly painted food truck takes a pure approach to its menu, offering vegetarian fare that’s fresh, natural, and from the earth. Ingredients are grown without chemical pesticides or fertilizers, and even the salt used to flavor dishes is iodine-free. While lines often wrap around the block at lunchtime, the vibe is always fast and fun. When you’re seeking something healthy, join the crowds for pastas, sautéed soya, fresh local juices, and more.
Mr. Juda of Ital Creations at Fari Organic Farm (and a contributor to Belle Mont Farm’s organic efforts) has the cure for whatever ails you! Your best bet is to start with his selection of moringa juices—a plant grown in the area. There’s ginger, “original”, sorrel, and, my favorite, unsweetened. Many consider the moringa a “miracle tree” with its high levels of Vitamins C, A, calcium, potassium, and iron. But the incredibly healthy Ital creations don’t end there. On a recent visit this was the lunch menu: Fire Roasted Breadfruit Topped with Lentils in Greens Sauce. And when they say, “fire roasted”, they mean cooked traditionally in a little fire pit behind the counter.