Saint Paul Capesterre parish of St Kitts has many small bays with black volcanic sand and a striking backdrop of steep cliffs. As it lies along the turbulent Atlantic Coast, all of the villages are set further back inland to protect them against the waves that pound the shoreline.
Inland, the parish’s flat and gently sloping terrain is dotted by abandoned sugar plantations and small farms. Further inland, the terrain rises dramatically along the slopes of Mt Liamuiga, with its flourishing tropical rain forests.
Saint Paul Capesterre, with its capital Saint Paul Capesterre Village is a largely agricultural region owing to the fertile volcanic soil. Originally a site of sugar cane fields, the crop has since been replaced by fruits, vegetables and other local produce.
Tourism plays a major role in the parish’s economy. A popular attraction is Rawlin’s Plantation Inn, made famous by British artist, carver, sculptor and weaver Kate Spencer who owns its restaurant and atelier. It is because of her presence that the resort community designed for artists called Kittitian Heights is being developed on the foothills of Mount Liamuiga. The village consists of a hotel and villas and include state-of-the-art recording facilities.
Saint Paul Capesterre is also noted for the heritage plantation Belmont Estate and the rum that carries the same name.
Saint Paul Capesterre Village
Saint Paul Capesterre Village is the largest village in the Capesterre region, and the capital of the parish of the same name. The current Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr Denzil Llewellyn Douglas resides here.
The village’s economy was once centred on the sugar industry. When the market declined and the sugar industry was closed, the region faced a serious unemployment problem. Presently, employment programs are being undertaken by the government to help alleviate the problem.
Belmont Estate is a heritage plantation in northwest St Kitts at the base of Mt Liamuiga. It is being developed into a Pre-20th Century Sugar Museum, showcasing the machinery and other structures that were used in the growing and milling of sugar cane.
Belmont Estate is a usual stop of tours, which include visits to historic St Paul’s Anglican Church and Saint Paul Capesterre Village, and hiking expeditions to the crater Mt Liamuiga.
Kittitian Heights/Kittitian Hills
Kittitian Hill and Kittitian Heights are new luxury residential communities in Saint Paul Capesterre.
Sitting on a 400-acre hillside is the upscale neighbourhood of Kittitian Hill. It consists of luxury villas, quaint cottages and elegant townhouses. The community has panoramic views of the nearby islands of St. Eustatius, Saba, St Martin and St Barths, and breathtaking sunset and sea views of the Caribbean Sea. Kittitian Hill also includes an 18-hole championship golf course, a luxurious spa, duty free shops, restaurants and bars, a cinema, amphitheatre and library.
Kittitian Heights is currently being developed on 390 acres of land at Belmont Estate in the foothills of Mt Liamuiga. It consists of a boutique hotel, luxury villas and townhouses, and an artist’s village. Amenities include an Ian Woosnam designed 18-hole championship golf course, a clubhouse, practice academy and drive range, and a recording studio.
The construction of Kittitian Heights is part of a plan to alleviate the unemployment problem in Saint Paul Capesterre. It is estimated that from the start of construction to the operational phase, the development will be able to provide 1,000 jobs.
Rawlins Plantation Inn
Rawlins Plantation Inn lies in the foothills of Mt Liamuiga along the north coast of St Kitts. It was reconstructed from the foundations of a 17th century sugar plantation. Some historic features remain, like the cattle mill dating back to 1828 and a sugar cane windmill that was transformed into a honeymoon suite. The development encompasses 12 cottages scattered throughout the 12 acre plantation ground and landscaped tropical gardens, a spring-fed swimming pool, grass tennis court and lawn croquet.
For 36 years, Rawlins Plantation Inn has been offering island activities, such as snorkelling and scuba diving, sailing, golf, cricket, and open air concerts and carnivals. Its West Indian buffet is one of the best on the island, which includes organically grown fruits and vegetables.