Spread over 400 acres on Kittitian Hill, St Kitts, Belle Mont Farm is an everything-you-could-dream-up retreat for gastronomes, sun-seekers and adventurers alike. Perched 1,000 feet above sea level on the slopes of Mount Liamuiga, the hotel is girdled by lush greenery and has panoramic sea views galore – but if you’re looking for even greater natural highs, the volanic slopes make for soul-stirring hikes. Back at the hotel, spend your days sampling indigenous spa treatments, having a knock about on the tennis court or putting about on the sun-soaked green. Then there’s the food – you’ll dine on farm-to-table Carribean cuisine and can join foodie experiences like the Farm Table Dinner, an open-air meal that’s prepared right before your eyes.
Forty-one, including cottages, villas and a four-bedroom farmhouse.
Noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £256.91 ($332), including tax at 12 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional service charge of 10% per booking on check-out.
Breakfast is usually not included; choose from à la carte options (starting at $8), healthy start spreads ($20) and Full English breakfasts ($30).
Look for the rustic ‘Pick Me’ signs on the mango, banana and other citrus trees dotting the grounds tempting you to pluck ripe fruit directly from the source. Or, venture out with chefs on a guided foraging excursion for herbs and produce for the day’s meals. Prefer to leave the gathering to someone else? A crate of fresh produce will be delivered to your room every morning.
The hotel is closed from 8 September to 16 October 2020.
At the hotel
A 400-acre organic farm, pool, beach club, tennis courts, golf course, fitness centre and spa. In rooms: movie screen and projector, coffee- and tea-making kit, bottled water and custom-made organic bath products.
Our favourite rooms
If an outdoor shower sets your heart racing, then you’ll truly be wooed by the al fresco porcelain claw foot soaking tub framed by vintage mirrors and set on the private wide-plank porch of the King Guesthouse. Of course, you could opt for that same sprawling ocean-gazing suite with a private infinity pool for even more amorous aquatic endeavors.
With a generous number of sunloungers on deck, there’s no need to wake up early to stake your spot beside the infinity-edge pool and hot tub. Although, with the flawless ocean-facing panoramas, you might race to be the first one out there to snap a few sunrise shots.
The sea-view Wellness Centre is spread across several luxury cottages. Listen to monkeys chattering above you as you sink into a massage inspired by the vitamin-packed fruits and medicinal herbs all around you. In-room massage treatments are also available on request.
The dense green backdrop means you may encounter creepy crawlies, so don’t leave home without your bug spray (an organic one, of course).
The farm isn't wheelchair accessible. Although not on property, transportation is provided to the hotel’s beach club at the public beach.
All ages are welcome, however the surrounding terrain is too steep in areas for prams or wobbly-footed toddlers. Kids 10 and older with an interest in watersports, hiking or the culinary academy on the resort’s organic farm, will be the happiest campers.
Dedicated locavores take note: everything that passes your lips is either from the organic farm or locally sourced from farmers, ranchers and fisherman on St Kitts or nearby islands. The staff use green cleaning products and recycled paper products.
Snag a cosy candlelit table for two with that drop-dead gorgeous seascape for eye candy at the Kitchen’s outdoor terrace.
Smart tennis and golf togs or swimsuits by day, and the latest designer resort wear – crisp linens and breezy dresses – by night.
The hotel has two; both share a commitment to seasonal, sustainable cuisine by dreaming up dishes using fruits and vegetables harvested from the surrounding farms, the catch-of-the-day from local fisherman or meat from nearby farmers. International fare with a West African accent is on the daily-changing menu at the Kitchen, the hotel’s main eatery. Located in the Great House, it commands uninterrupted views from the tiered terraces and the interiors are styled with relics from the island’s days as a top rum and sugar producer along with modern touches: lofted ceilings, exposed beams, a grand fireplace and sturdy communal farm tables. Pop by Arthur’s Beach Bar, a seasonal stand serving the day’s catch and tropical cocktails at the hotel’s private beach club. Don’t miss the 'Farm Table Dinner', an open-air meal at a communal table set up in the middle of the farm. The chefs will prepare the meal infont of you, talking you through the dishes and demonstrating the quality of Belle Monte's organic produce.
Cool off post-sail with a rum-inflected cocktail at Arthur's Beach Bar, a casual (and seasonal) Caribbean-style shack at the beach club. The refinery-chic decor and design of the Mill pays homage to St Kitts days as ‘Sugar City’. The only industry here today though is the mixing of specialty cocktails using herbs and fruit from the farm.
Breakfast is served from 7:30am to 10:30a, dinner from 6:30pm to 9pm. Arthur’s Beach Bar serves snacks and lunch from 11am to 5pm. In high season, Arthur’s is open for dinner on Thursday and Saturday from 6pm to 9pm. The pool bar is open daily until 5.30.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available as room service. Several golf carts have been outfitted as roving kitchens – hello, boutique food trucks – and a private chef can motor over to your room on request to prepare snacks and small meals.
Belle Mont Farm is a secluded resort set high on Kittitian Hill on the north end of the island of St Kitts and Nevis, one of the Leeward Islands separating the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean.
Robert L Bradshaw International Airport (SKB) is a 30-minute drive from the hotel and services direct flights from major cities on several major airlines including British Airways, American Airlines and Delta.
If you’d like your own wheels for exploring the island, there are several car-hire desks at the airport and free valet parking at the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
Surrounded by 400 tropical acres and just a 10-minute drive from the beach, Belle Mont Farm offers the best of both Caribbean worlds – rich jungle flora and balmy ocean waters. Acclimate by taking a guided tour of the organic farm with a member of the resort team, plucking fruit from the trees as you amble.
For a more directed stroll, head to Irie Fields, the hotel’s environmentally-sustainable 9-hole golf course, where you’ll encounter edible plants and fruit trees if feeling peckish on the links. Get in some cardio with a personal training session at the fitness centre or challenge your partner to a match at one of the two tennis courts.
Bike or hop a ride down to Dieppe Bay, where you'll find the black sand beach and Arthur’s Beach Bar, the hotel's oceanside restaurant serving just-landed seafood and moreish cocktails. You can snorkel at Dieppe Bay, but the sea can be rough at times, so it's at your own risk. If in doubt, ask the staff for advice. You'll need your own snorkelling gear, too.
The hotel is loaded with activities and plenty of ways to relax, too, so you might not feel the need to leave the grounds. However, local guided tours can be arranged for everything from scuba diving and a trek up Mt Liamuiga or a visit to a Batik factory.
'Every farm needs a potting shed,' the driver tells me as we finally make it up the very long and bumpy track from the main road. Seriously, it’s a very long drive – far away from anywhere – but there’s a good reason for that: once you arrive at Belle Mont Farm, you’re in a rainforest half way up a volcano.
The potting shed in question – all the way up at the top of Kittitian Hill on the northern tip of St Kitt’s – is a rather modest name for what’s really an enormous beautiful timber structure. It wouldn’t be out of place in the Royal Academy of Art’s courtyard. Without walls, its breezy interior is lit up by the sunlight streams through, shimmering on the leaves of the iconic tree growing inside (it’s the first time I’ve ever seen a tree dwarfed by a ‘shed’). I notice the Clusia major, dubbed the ‘autograph tree’, has the signatures of previous guests adorning every leaf, like notches on a bedpost. I’m busy working out what lewd comment to graffiti across one when I notice that Mrs Smith is already being led away to the golf cart that will ferry us to reception. I naively thought we’d already arrived, but no: there’s the Indiana Jones-esque trail to take on first, complete with hanging vines, tropical birds and monkeys – yes, real, live monkeys who eat everything (with all the groomed vegetation on offer, I reckon they call this place their Shangri-La). I feel six years old again as our driver fires along the old volcano path up through what feels like Jurassic Park, minus the killer dinosaurs. It’s brilliant.
At reception, we’re greeted by a lovely lady offering cold towels and a gentleman serving delicious sweetened bitter-orange drinks, freshly made on the farm… and when I say freshly made, I mean they literally grew the oranges. Belle Mont Farm does luxe sustainability like nowhere else: the food that’s served in the restaurant is grown on the land, and the restaurant itself was built with stone quarried from the estate. That might make you think it’d be a little rough around the edges, but far from it – the New England-style interior makes for a bright, chic setting, and from reception you can spy the stylish swimming pool, complete with its sunken bar, gym and spa.
A short golf buggy ride later, we reach our bedroom – well, our guest houses: each one is your very own self-contained chapel of serenity. Inside, the New England theme continues with a soaring vaulted ceiling and an elegant bed built for a king. The minibar’s stocked with (free) wine, and there’s an iPad at hand to help you access whatever you need while on-site. The showstopper, however, has to be the view at the end of the bed: gigantic doors open to reveal a private infinity pool that overlooks several neighbouring Caribbean islands and beyond, all the way to the horizon. It’s an incredible sight.
Each guest house has an outdoor bathroom, enclosed by banana trees and foliage. The his-and-hers sinks are a nice touch, but the shower and freestanding bathtub are fantastic (ours could’ve used a few more trees, in my opinion – I found myself waving to a fellow guest on a stroll as I brushed my teeth, and the toilet could be a little breezy late at night).
Dining at Belle Mont verges on a religious experience, with meals served in the Kitchen restaurant; if the guest houses are the chapels, then this surely is the cathedral. Vast doors and windows open out at every angle, making you feel as though you’re not actually indoors at all. The only problem is you have to choose between views of the sleeping volcano or the ocean… a first-world problem if ever there way. All the farm-grown food is delicious, and Mrs Smith’s only complaint was directed towards me: I failed to book our stay over a Sunday, so we missed the weekly Champagne Brunch with lobster.
With food sourced on-site, no trip to Belle Mont Farm would be complete without a farm tour, conducted by Tarifi (a man so laid back I swear he must put sticks in his pants to keep him upright). He drives us first through the edible golf course – it’s currently nine holes but when finished, he tells us, you’ll be able to pick mangos, pineapples and anything else you see growing on a bush or tree as you shoot par. Tarifi then stops to pick up a knife-wielding man. Mrs Smith is already halfway out the door when the newcomer, Winston, laughs his head off and tells us it’s to cut fruit for us to eat. As they walk us through the near-endless nurseries where they’re growing enough food for what seems like the entire planet, we sample sour berries – yes, they did make my face contort like I’d just been kicked in the knackers – papaya and custard apples. If you’ve never eaten a custard apple, they taste exactly like their name, and are delicious. Both farmers became giddy with excitement when they spotted one of their plants growing something new; any farm would be lucky to have staff so enthusiastic.
Belle Mont Farm’s story has just begun, and what they have planned for the future sounds incredible. For now, though, the first-class staff on hand – from the friendly farmers to our housekeeping superstar, Glenda – are a credit to the paradise we were thrilled to temporarily call home.