If you have read my past columns, you will know that I have an affinity towards sustainable development and every so often, I find a project which shares my kindred spirit of preserving communities and cultures.
Kittitian Hill on the island of St. Kitts in the Leeward Caribbean, is a development which caught my attention from its earliest days of construction. With hard hat and durable shoes, I walked the hilly terrain and saw the quality of craftsmanship that was going into the planning and construction of this unique property. Over 30 Kittitian contractors had been trained and hired to work on the construction site showing the spirit of community involvement from the ground up.
Following my first tour, I then sat with the founder, Val Kempadoo while he shared his vision of bringing together community and culture, along with mindful conservation of natural resources. Over the subsequent years during my visits, I saw Mr Kempadoo’s vision come to life through the design of private luxury villas (which I didn’t want to leave); a boutique hotel made from locally sourced materials; a restorative space called the Mango Walk Spa using local ingredients for treatments; Irie Fields the world’s most edible golf course (which didn’t improve my game); and fresh food harvested from their organic farms right on property.
I have visited numerous properties claiming to do one or two of these things but Kittitian Hill really does offer guests an amazing experience while bringing long-lasting and life-changing benefits to the local people and community.
So much of tourism revenue, in some cases $95 out of every $100, goes off shore to support the tourism infrastructure. Islands such as St. Kitts must import food at high cost, to support the demand from tourism. Locals have acquired a taste for these foods and now expect the same products be made available in their grocery stores. Through the initiatives of Kittitian Hill, they have shared their techniques for producing environmentally responsible food with the nearby farmers thus reducing the island’s need to import fruits and vegetables. Their smart water management system reduces further strain on the environment. By growing organic, they have also reduced the use of unnecessary chemicals and pesticides from the food supply.
The Village, right on premises has been built for local artists and artisans to showcase their quality work as well as offer retreats and share their expertise. Everything from art and music to a specialist coffee roaster and artisan cheese maker are found in The Village. All forms of personal expression are encouraged to nourish the mind, body and soul. Now if you think this is just a lovely boutique hotel, guess again. You can actually purchase property at Kittitian Hill. I invite you to go to their website to see what is involved in being an owner of a small piece of paradise. As with any off shore property investment, you must visit and experience it first hand, while doing your due diligence and seeking the advice of trusted financial, legal and real estate professionals.