The Kariwak Story
Kariwak Village Holistic Haven and Hotel is a calm, green oasis nestled in the heart of the otherwise bustling Crown Point area. Designed and built by Allan and Cynthia Clovis in the late seventies and opened in 1982 as a simple 18 room hotel and restaurant with a natural, rootsy ambience that was unique amongst the hotels of the day but very much in keeping with Allan and Cynthia’s original vision of creating a true eco-resort that nurtured mind, body and soul.
Coral from the excavation of the pool created the walls for the bar and sustainably sourced teak posts supported the traditional thatched roof of the dining room. Yoga classes for staff and guests were held in the small library and the hotel gradually became a popular venue for talks and workshops with visiting alternative practitioners and spiritual teachers. At the same time, the restaurant was also becoming a haven for local artists and musicians providing a much needed space on the island at the time for exhibitions and performances.
The kitchen garden evolved alongside the restaurant menu, providing hard to find fresh herbs that became the signature of Kariwak’s cuisine. Under Cynthia’s consistent guidance, the restaurant became as well known for it’s service as for it’s food and that friendly, family feeling pervaded all aspects of the operation. Today, the restaurant has a devoted following amongst visitors and locals alike and everyone has their favourite dish... from the grilled shrimp and salad to the big roti lunch or the jazzy grilled cheese on homemade bread with a steaming cup of Kariwak spice tea.
In 1995, Kariwak fully acquired the additional parcel of land behind the original hotel that had previously been leased for the gardens. Construction of an additional 6 rooms and custom designed retreat spaces, more gardens and a small alternative therapy center was completed in 1998. The extensive, expanded gardens, now home to over 100 varieties of tropical plants and over 20 species of birds, went on to win the Prime Ministers Award for Best Gardens two years in a row. The installation of an in-built grey water recycling system linking the laundry to the flower gardens and lawn and an in-house ozonation system for all the water in the taps and the pool completed this second phase of development reaffirming Kariwak’s commitment to sustainability and wellness.
Today, Kariwak maintains it’s quirky, unique character, continuing to carve a niche for itself as a place of peace and tranquility in the midst of an increasingly frenetic world. The vast majority of it’s guests are repeat visitors, proud “Kariwakers”, members of an extended family that includes multiple generations of staff and friends that have been part of this story from the beginning. Kariwak is truly a retreat for mind, body and soul, perfect for couples, small families or solo travellers. We hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do.