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The new Frangipane Spa at the Queen's Garden Resort on Saba
If you remember the killer views we showed you last winter that make the Queen's Garden Resort on Saba, the Caribbean island's most luxurious property, you might recall the unfinished building in some of the photos. The work-in-progress was a spa, which was finished earlier this month, just in time for the upcoming Caribbean season.
Called the Frangipani Spa, it features two open air treatment rooms, Finnish sauna, Turkish steam bath, herbal facial aroma pots, waterfall shower, and an outdoor Jacuzzi. Like the hotel, it overlooks Saba's capital, "The Bottom," as well as the mountainside and ocean.
The photos below show a simplistic charm and a hut-like environment, the beige of the wood dominating as a background and allowing the bright Caribbean-colored accents to burst out. So as not to lose sight of the views, the hotel decided to completely leave out one side of the building - a decision we think will turn out to be a really good one. The treatments will use products from SXM Nectar on nearby St. Maarten.
All right, so the Queen's Garden Resort has incredible beauty and first-class service, but let's take a step back and understand what's happening with the rest of the island's hotel scene.
There are only 80 beds in total, so let's not confuse things. Options are limited, but that doesn't mean they aren't quality. The coolest thing we learned about the hotels on the island is that they all used to be something else. When tourism started to grow, they were converted to the hotels that exist today.
Queen's Garden Resort is without question the premier resort on Saba -- the place the King and Queen of the Netherlands stay when they visit -- but from the moment you step through the door and meet the owners, Hidde and Claire, you feel like you're at a small boutique hotel or a bed and breakfast.
Part of that is because, in a way, you are. The property has only 15 rooms, and the proprietors are the ones actually running the place. They're working the front desk, they're cooking in the kitchen, they're training the staff, and, when they have a free moment, they're having a drink at the bar with guests. Walking through the grounds, every employee knows your name and stops to chat. Do you need anything? Would you like a drink?
While top-tier service is a part of being a great hotel, you can't simply put lipstick on a pig -- the property itself has to do some talking. A stroll through the photos below should calm all doubts about whether a Caribbean island of 2,000 people can deliver first-class luxury lodging. First, there's that killer view we talked about. And the in-room hot tubs found in the suites, combined with the view, pretty much speak for themselves.
Next week on Jaunted.com, our baby bro who tells us what to see and do, we'll explore the hotel scene on the tiny, 5-square-mile island of Saba that sits 26 miles off the coast of St. Maarten and in eyesight of a handful of other Caribbean islands, including St. Barth's, Anguilla, Nevis, and St. Kitt's.
But for now, especially during this cold and wintry time, enjoy this killer view from Queen's Garden Resort, perched above "The Bottom," the capital of Saba. As you can see, the property is also in the process of adding on, and we're excited for what's to come.
We'll also take a look at the island's hotel scene in general. With a population of only 2,000 and the shortest commercial runway in the world, this little-known island is one of the most unique and unspoiled getaways we've come across in the Caribbean.
[Photos: Will McGough]