Zsa Zsa Gabor would have adored Belle Mont Farm, “Farm livin’ is the life for me.” She was clearly ahead of her time with the glam farming trend.
The modern trend of agri-tourism is decidedly old school. Getting back to the basics; the land, the food, the culture. The hottest destinations are authentic working farms and vineyards. Add some Caribbean flair, super swank villas, world class chefs and you have the new Belle Mont Farm at Kittitian Hill. The New York Times says Belle Mont Farm is, “Not just a lavish resort but a community, honoring all things local”
I’m not talking about milking cows or mucking stalls here. You can forage in the fields for fresh vegetables, or take a nap in your charming farmhouse cottage with a view of the Caribbean. But just by staying at Belle Mont you’re supporting the grand vision of founder Val Kempadoo. He’s not only changing the way guests stay, he’s changing the island. Though the hotel officially opened earlier this year, some areas are still under construction, but it won’t impact your stay. I’m excited to see the vision of this resort come to life in the next few years.
Belle Mont Farm
Belle Mont Farm on Kittitian Hill in sunny St. Kitts is more than just a resort; it’s a food movement. Founder and visionary Val Kempadoo is trying something revolutionary in the Caribbean. Almost every acre of the 400 acre property is edible, even the golf course (the golf course that is mowed by goats). The cart path is planted with tropical fruit trees and guests are invited to enjoy those with the “pick me” signs. The course, aptly named Irie Fields, is one of only three organic golf courses, 65 of the 200 acres can actually be farmed. The greenskeeper is a local sheepherder whose 500 sheep are tasked with eating the weeds. He is not only hosting luxury guests, but uplifting an entire local community with his vision for a resort that is more than just a place to stay. The center of the resort is to be a market for local artisans. Unlike the tschotckes sold in the market stalls you find at most cruise ship stops, these won’t be made in China, these will be locally created works of art.
Where you’ll stay at Belle Mont Farm at Kittitian Hill:
Belle Mont Farm Guesthouses:
The cozy guesthouses have private pools, a bed with a million dollar view and bathrooms al fresco. These are clearly for couples only or a solo traveler. Belle Mont Farm amenities include private Guesthouse attendants assigned to each accommodation and a 24-hour concierge. Starting rates for a Guesthouse this season begin at $700 based on double occupancy. Inclusive packages are available for all accommodation options, including a special holiday “Farm to Feast” offer, which starts at $1,700.
I enjoyed an afternoon of yoga followed by a massage on my private patio, this is a blissful kids’ free zone.
Belle Mont Farm Villas:
New and noteworthy this season is a four-bedroom Farmhouse designed as the perfect place for families or groups of friends. The Farmhouse has plenty of space for up to eight people, and includes a private 100-foot infinity pool, expansive gourmet kitchen, and curated wine selection by Isabelle Legeron, Belle Mont Farm’s Master of Wine. The Farmhouse comes equipped with a personal chef who can create an in-home farm-to-table dinners or even lead a cooking class. Visitors are greeted upon arrival by their Farmhouse team, which includes the private chef and a dedicated housekeeper. Rates for the Farmhouse start at $4,500/night for 8 people.
I stayed in the upper level of one of the Farmhouses, the view from my bed was a vision of rolling hills and the sea in the distance. Often at island resorts the furniture is either overly formal or obviously hand made and a little rough around the edges, not so here. The decor strikes the perfect note between authentic island and upscale resort. Every room has plenty of lounging space (I HATE when there’s no place to nap except the bed, don’t judge) both inside and out. The service was spot on and the meal that Chef made for us on our patio was simple yet perfect. I don’t like fussy food, but I really hate bad food, his food is perfect. I guess that makes me the Goldilocks of food.
French Chef Cristophe Letard can be found on the farm or in the kitchen. You can forage for your own dinner pulling fresh eggplants, beets or whatever else is in season from the ground just hours before you eat it. Every ingredient is local, you won’t find foie gras on the menu. Even the wine list is a fresh take on organic. The Master of Wine Isabelle Legeron is curating a collection of natural wines.
Baskets of fresh fruit are delivered to your room each morning, and wooden baskets are placed in the rooms to encourage foraging on the farm. I love pretending to be a farmer without all the hard work of actually BEING a farmer.
When poor Chef was done with my photo shoot he announced “woman, you will give me nightmares.” I told him that he is not the first man to say that, just the first to do so with such a cute french accent. He left. I’m pretty sure he loves me too.
Though the property officially opened a year ago, areas are still under construction. The main restaurant is open as is the entire golf course. Coming attractions include several inventive restaurants.
All of the restaurants feature menus at least 90 percent sourced from the surrounding farm and sea.
The Patio Garden:
The new Patio Garden will be an extension of Chef Letard’s farm-to-table philosophy offering fresh and organic “comfort food” in a casual outdoor setting. Think lobster macaroni-and-cheese and lamb burgers. The outdoor veranda overlooks Mount Liamuiga’s tropical forest, and is adjacent to the fine dining restaurant, The Kitchen, (already open and very popular amongst locals and guests alike, especially for its high-end Sunday brunch).
For a truly experiential dining experience, Coco House will offer 12-course tasting menus and the highest level of curated dining. The definition of haute cuisine, dishes require elaborate preparation, presentation and skill. Between courses, Kittitian elders share traditional folklore and flavorful tales to dining guests presenting another taste of St. Kitts culture. The design of Coco House incorporates a retractable roof and antique farm equipment inspired by traditional St. Kitts cocoa drying houses, while providing an elegant dining experience under the stars. I’d be willing to try it for the folklore, but I mentioned I’m not up for fussy food, but I do love Chef, so I’m torn.
The Pool Grille:
Belle Mont Farm will also introduce a ceviche bar at the Pool Grille, located by the sprawling infinity pool in front of the Great House. In addition to seasonal cocktails and fresh juices, guests can drink in views from neighboring islands, St. Eustatius and Saba.
For a true taste of the Caribbean with oceanfront views to match, Arthur’s sea-to-fork restaurant will be another dining option located on the black sand beach in Dieppe Bay, just a 10-minute drive from the resort. The restaurant’s name pays tribute to Arthur Leaman, the former House & Garden magazine editor behind the legendary Golden Lemon Inn, which is currently being restored and will eventually be added to the Kittitian Hill collection. With a location just down the beach from a fishing village, the Arthur’s menu reflects the freshest catch of the day, paired with complementary produce from the farm.
Set amongst organic orchids, vegetable and fruit gardens,The Farm is a rustic communal long table dining experience and the ideal location to watch the sun set over the sea. Belle Mont Farm’s interpretation of in-room dining is the Rolling Mango, a gourmet mobile kitchen featuring a team of local chefs who prepare fresh meals at Guesthouse doorsteps.
I was a guest of Belle Mont Farm at Kittitian Hill for review purposes. My first review appeared in Greenwich Magazine. All photos are my own and are subject to copyrights. I mean, not really because I don’t actually have lawyers for that stuff. But if you want to use them, just ask, k?