The Caribbean is no stranger to luxury resorts, but Saint Kitts didn’t have its own until last November, when the 126-room Park Hyatt St. Kitts debuted. The laid-back compound is Park Hyatt’s first foray into the Caribbean, occupying a prime beachfront perch on Christophe Harbour, just across the water from  Nevis. On a recent trip to the east coast, I hopped over to Saint Kitts (via a quick, nonstop flight from Miami) for a few nights at the resort. Here are five things I loved:

A Nevis Peak Suite’s private terrace. (Photo: Amy Cassell)

The suites. Guest rooms are housed in low-slung buildings that arc around the beach, giving them all ocean views overlooking Nevis. I loved the breezy beach house decor vibe (think neutral color palettes with subtle pops of Caribbean color), the freestanding soaking tub in the bathroom (with Le Labo products!), and the floor-to-ceiling windows that enhanced the already gorgeous views. Third-floor Nevis Peak Suites have their own furnished rooftop terraces and infinity plunge pools that make it hard to want to venture anywhere else.

Banana Bay views from a Presidential Villa private terrace. (Photo: Amy Cassell)

Pool time. But when you do decide to explore, make your first stop the beachfront Lagoon Pool (pictured, top), home to a lively open-air bar where the local steel-drum artists will make any cover-band skeptic smile, and bartenders blend rum daiquiris best enjoyed with your toes in the sand. (This is why you come to the Caribbean, right?) Even with the live music and a few families splashing in the water, the scene never felt too loud – but adults can retreat to the Rampart Pool up the hill, where the vibe is much more quiet, and attendants deliver smoothies and other refreshing treats.

Beautiful details: A plant wall along the resort’s Welcome Walk. (Photo: Amy Cassell)

The architecture. The resort’s common spaces are all thoughtful nods to the island’s history, a place where sugar was king for more than 350 years. (Today, the only sugar farming on the island is for making rum.) The Rampart Pool’s stone arches are modeled after Brimstone Fortress, the island’s seventeenth-century British stronghold, and the Stone Barn is a nod to the structures that farmers stored sugarcane in during hurricane season. At the Miraval Spa – the Caribbean’s first Miraval – the architectural highlight is the open-air stone sugar mill, where guests can take morning yoga classes.

Lobster goes from pier to plate at Fisherman’s Village. (Photo: Amy Cassell)

Hello, lobster roll. The resort’s three restaurants are some of the best fine-dining options you’ll find on island – from the tasting-menu meals at the adults-only Stone Barn to the breakfast buffet and decadent afternoon tea at the Great House. My favorite meal came during lunch at the open-air, overwater Fisherman’s Village: My Carib Lobster Roll was sourced from just a few feet away – chefs pull the fresh crustaceans from cages that hang off the resort’s main pier.

Beachy, living room vibes in the Park Hyatt St. Kitts’ lobby. (Photo: Amy Cassell)

The feel-good factor. Ninety percent of the hotel’s staff are local, and executive chef Pankaj Bisht is working with the island’s culinary school to train and mentor local cooks. He’s also establishing a local supply chain, even helping residents open a poultry farm that supplies all of the hotel’s eggs.

Virtuoso travelers receive a welcome amenity, breakfast daily and a $100 resort credit.