Gay Nagle Myers
Gay Nagle Myers

InsightAn attraction on St. Kitts, one whose origins date back 300 years, is helping propel bookings for the winter season.

Fairview Great House and Botanical Garden once was the residence of a French military commander, then home to families and personalities, including the great-grandfather of the British novelist Virginia Woolf.

Fast forward to the 1960s when a local couple bought the place, renamed it the Fairview Inn and turned it into one of the island's first full-service hotels.

It was well known for its parties, especially the New Year's Ball.

The inn shut down in the late 1990s and sat idle until 2008 when Kishu Chandiramani, a local businessman and the past president of the St. Kitts and Nevis Hotel and Tourism Association, bought Fairview with plans to restore it to its former glory.

Following a $3 million renovation, it reopened in time for the current winter season.

Fairview Great House"Seeing this project come to life is inspiring," said Minister of Tourism Ricky Skerritt. "Fairview is an important part of our heritage and an excellent addition to our mix of visitor attractions. St. Kitts has to find creative ways to integrate our heritage, culture and environment into our tourism product, and Fairview has achieved this."

The restored great house, three miles from Basseterre, features a two-acre botanical garden with an apiary, a cobblestone central courtyard, a private chapel, a pool, a tapas bar and the Nirvana Restaurant, open daily for a West Indian buffet lunch and a Creole-style a la carte menu at dinner.

Visitors can tour the great house, whose rooms serve as venues for meetings or private dinners.

Honey from the apiary is sold in the gift shop.

Fairview's entrance fee is $10. Tours of Fairview are offered on the cruise ships and through hotels.

Details are available through www.stkittstourism.kn and www.nirvanafairview.com.

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