Just Back From
On a secluded hillside on St. Kitts, in the West Indies, Belle Mont Farm is more than a hotel. Part of an ambitious sustainability project, which includes a 400-acre organic farm, the resort has a strong appeal for couples, families and groups of friends seeking an active and socially responsible alternative to traditional Caribbean flop-and-drops.
The seven multi-unit farmhouses and twelve individual villas (three- and four-bedrooms) were designed by Bill Bensley, the mastermind responsible for many of Aman’s most iconic resorts. They are tucked into the lushly planted property, which sits on a hillside (read: not right on the beach). Many of the villas come with their own pools and all accommodations have sweeping views of the turquoise water stretching to neighboring clusters of islands.
Interiors reference the local vernacular style and are decorated with patterned cottons in tones of blue and cream, all containing examples by local artists and spacious armoires in the British Colonial style. Cozy upholstered window seats, big enough for two, are a perfect setting for curling up with a good book or whiling away the afternoon in a siesta. Rooms are comfortable and luxuriously outfitted with iPod docks, movie projectors, as well as well-stocked mini bars that include beautifully made organic bath products. The spacious bathrooms are entirely al fresco here, which will appeal to nature romantics and a no-go for anyone dreading insect encounters at night.
The property includes a stunning golf course which is also touted as the world’s first “organic” course (it is maintained without the use of chemicals and has a complex irrigation system). Golfers can relish in the sweeping views and pick fresh fruit off the bushes that surround the course. In fact, much of Belle Mont feels like an edible paradise. There are one hundred different types of mangos that grow on-property (sweet “Pick Me” signs indicate the many fruit trees across the expansive grounds). Golfing, hiking through the rainforest up to nearby Mount Liamuiga, and biking through the local villages are just some of the ways to keep active — and you want to be active after partaking in the sumptuous meals on offer here.
Nearly everything served in the ambitious restaurants at Belle Mont has been grown in the many organic gardens, and the resort takes pride in working closely with local farmers, fishermen and foragers to supply the ingredients for the farm-to-table menus. Guests can dine at the main restaurant and bar, which have been masterfully incorporated into the ruins of an old stone sugar mill. The Sunday brunch buffet draws both locals and hotel guests, and the chef's choice dinner, held under the stars in the kitchen garden, is a highlight.
Beach lovers need to be aware that Belle Mont Farm is up in the hills, and the beach facilities are a fifteen-minute drive from most accommodations. Also, banish all thoughts of white sandy expanses: the beach here is small, has grey volcanic sand sits adjacent to a local fishing village.
Direct flights from New York twice weekly in season with convenient connections through Miami, Juana and St Maarten. Upon arrival in St. Kitts, Belle Mont Farm guests are greeted plane-side and driven directly to a private lounge and offered refreshments while customs and immigration formalities are processed.
Travelers seeking the atmosphere of the "old Caribbean" will be drawn to an island not yet affected by mass tourism. Belle Mont Farm offers an opportunity to be pampered while also having a great learning experience, with local culture and the island’s flora and fauna incorporated into the everyday program.
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