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This Caribbean Island Is the #1 Place to Visit This Winter—Here's Why

There’s a certain bend in the road from St Kitts airport to Christophe Harbor that always elicits an awestruck reaction from first-timers, my driver tells me as we climb the rugged terrain. It’s 9 p.m. on a clear, warm night in June and I can’t help but feel let down that I’ve arrived in darkness. Silhouettes of swaying palms whir past the window, and we turn a bend in the road when I see it: the southeast peninsula in all her glory, with undulating hills that appear to rise straight from the Caribbean Sea, creating dramatic peaks against the satin night sky. My driver looks back with a glint in his eye and says, “Every time.”

Though St Kitts and Nevis are known as one of the most mountainous island nations in the West Indies, it’s impossible not to feel a sense of awe when you first lay eyes on the landscape. It’s dramatic, to say the least. Defined by three distinct groups of volcanic peaks, every bend and dip in the road reveals a new delight: Quiet turquoise bays, 17th-century ruins, mighty fortresses, and orange-tinged rusty shipwrecks are just a few of the attractions waiting to be found. 

The Caribbean island has drawn visitors for decades, but one new development is causing a serious buzz. Park Hyatt St Kitts, possibly the most anticipated hotel opening in the region, launched late last year with a bang, ranking on almost every top travel list from The New York Times and Conde Nast Traveler to Vogue. The five-star resort is nestled to the south of the island in Banana Bay, Christophe Harbor, with prime views of Nevis and an on-site Miraval Spa. Spared by the hurricanes that ravaged the region, it's just one of the reasons St Kitts is quickly emerging as the number one Caribbean island to visit. Here's why it's worth planning a trip to this up-and-coming patch of paradise—if not for winter, then before everyone else does.