I loved it. Ok. Fine. I totally loved it. So pipe down to all of you who take issue with chain hotels. Here’s the thing about chains. With good ones, you’re never disappointed. That’s been my experience with Marriott, so far anyway. Local color is great. However, you don’t always have to sacrifice it by going with a known quantity.

I recently stayed at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino. Sadly, it was just for a few short days, but that was all I needed to fall in love.

I go to a lot of beaches and a lot of resorts. So many of them claim “untouched” beaches. However, this was the real deal. Walk out through the hotel’s expansive open-air lobby and past the pool and you’ll find yourself smack dab in the middle of unspoiled beach as far as the eye can see.

No massive high rises. No noisy restaurants or knickknack shops. No throngs of people. Just comfy chairs and cabanas for hotel guests and a few locals peddling their wares.

The resort had lots to offer beyond the beach too. I loved their seafood restaurant Blu and enjoyed the breakfast buffet at their Calypso restaurant. This Marriott also has an Italian restaurant and a steak house that I hear are both quite good. I learned how to play poker in the casino. I lounged and lunched at the pool. And I shopped the stores in the hotel promenade.

The property is beautiful. The rooms are comfy and quite large. The location is killer. But one of the primary reasons I look forward to going back is the staff. I didn’t feel for one minute like I was a bother or an intrusion on the island. And I didn’t feel an “us and them” between the locals and the guests.

That goes a very long way in my book.

Jenny-Block-Publicity-Shot-250Jenny Block is the author of “Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage” (Seal Hardcover, June 2008 and Seal Paperback, March 2009), which has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. She writes a weekly column for the Dallas Morning News publication Quick called “Sex Talk with Jenny Block” (quickdfw.com). Jenny holds both her BA and her MA in English from Virginia Commonwealth University and taught college composition for nearly ten years. She writes for a wide variety of publications and websites, including huffingtonpost.com, yourtango.com, American Way, Veranda, the Dallas Morning News, the Dallas Voice, edgedallas.com, literarymama.com, Spirit, chow.com, and ellegirl.com.