By Nancy Baye
Manager Marie Rigobert is known to the locals as Ms. Marie, but rumour has it that some tourists simply call her Ma. The term of endearment is well-deserved as she and her staff are committed to providing a safe, enjoyable stay on the Caribbean gem of an island, Statia. The hospitable attitude is reflected in one of the things that the Inn is famous for, its gardens. A multitude of plants and flowers thrive here. Ms. Marie has poured herself into caring for the lush greenery, which evokes the tranquility of a tropical rain forest. In fact, it’s the first thing she shows me, taking me on a tour around the property to see the horticultural babies she’s so proud of. Along the way, tucked among the foliage are seating nooks where guests can enjoy the peace and quiet.
Papaya Inn and Papaya Blue offer a variety of room types, depending on the traveller’s needs. Mine had a kitchenette, separate W/C and shower room, wardrobe, spacious living area, king-sized bed. It opened onto a delightful patio. Standard features in all rooms include that much-needed air conditioning, free wi-fi, mini fridge, flat-screen TV and Netflix! True to the name, all rooms offer a lovely burst of papaya colour in the décor. For me, one of the nicest touches was the note left among the swan towels and fresh purple blossoms on my bed. The note welcomed me personally and provided all the relevant details for my stay, all with a conveyance of warm hospitality.
Breakfast is available each morning, with a variety of options that change daily. There’s something for everyone, including gorgeous fresh fruit. Guests can sit inside or enjoy their meal in one of several outdoor seating areas. All the staff are very friendly, happy to accommodate any special needs, and always ready with a smile.
Parking is available, but if you’d prefer to be picked up from the port or airport, reach out to the Inn. If you like to walk, you’ll find much to do within a 15-to-30-minute stroll. Just remember that sundown falls fast and early at this latitude, so arrange a ride back in the evening.