Fiona Sanderson explores this perfect Winter escape….
Arriving by water taxi from the airport, I realized why they call the island of Nevis, “Queen of the Caribees.” Green and lush, I was struck by the magnificence of the clear water and its 3,232-foot Nevis Volcano. There’s something about this small, island that immediately puts you at ease – a real sense of tranquility and a “time gone by.” With its old churches, windmills, and architecture, this little island of only seven miles long seduced me on first sight.
Arriving at the Four Seasons Hotel, I was genuinely surprised by the friendliness of the staff who could not have been more welcoming. This large hotel of 196 deluxe rooms and suites has managed to keep a simple but sophisticated décor with an old charm in line with the Nevis spirit of a stress-free life.
Full of all the activities you could wish for, including an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, swimming pools, outdoor Jacuzzi and spa, I chose to take the more relaxed alternative and walk along their long white beach dipping into the sea in between the pelicans who were diving into the sea beside us.
Over a few days, I tried all their restaurant’s dishes which were delicious – I will happily say that our feast of giant scallops, wagami beef and melon candy floss was truly memorable. A must is the Four Season’s Island Hopper massage given by Beuvita. This really did complete my luxurious stay and truly put me in the Nevis frame of mind! This hotel has all the facilities for a fabulous romantic stay or a treat for all the family. Out of all the Caribbean luxury hotels, this is certainly the one to stay at.
Montpelier Plantation And Beach Resort
750 feet above sea level with spectacular views of Mount Nevis, Montpelier Plantation And Beach Resort (with only 18 rooms) gave me a completely different and unique experience. Set amongst 60 acres, and dating from the early 1700s, this lush plantation was previously a sugar estate, which hosted the wedding of Horatio Nelson (later Admiral Lord Nelson) and Fanny Nisbet in 1787. It is owned by the Hoffman family, who have transformed this historic house into one of the Caribbean’s finest hotels. No wonder Princess Diana was happy to spend a holiday with her sons away from the spotlight amongst the lush gardens filled with tropical flowers!
Montpelier is renowned for its imaginative use of local foods, including fresh lobster, fish and pork. Pastries, breads, sorbets and ice cream are homemade, as are the jams and marmalades, made from the fruits grown on the property.
My other recommendations include:
Golden Rock, nestled into the hills of Nevis, provides something wonderful for every sense. The colors of the décor, the sounds and the smells allow you to really relax and take in the scenery. I had the best lobster sandwich I have ever had followed by a homemade coconut and mango ice cream. Truly unmissable. Plus, be sure to meet the charming host and owner, Pam Berry.
Behind old stonewalls covered in passion fruit vines, you will find the island secret of Bananas, with its eclectic touches, antique toys, old skis, riding boots and a collection of antique hats which add an air of eccentricity and informality to the place.
With its local cuisine and friendly bar, you will no doubt find yourself chatting to the local sea captain or eccentric millionaire. A must on your trip!
With great food and the only awarded wine cellar on the island, Coconut Grove with its thatched roof of palms and rough timber building is decorated with a Balinese theme and for a beach restaurant is really unique.
Gary Colt, owner and founder of this restaurant, is a master sommelier and personally selected all the wines.
Chrishi Beach Club
For those looking for something really laid back with European café style food, you will find Chrishi Beach Club hits the spot on one of Nevis’ prime beach spots. Here they welcome guests to a pristine beach with comfortable loungers.
Since its independence in 1983, St. Kitts & Nevis have happily enjoyed a stable and democratic government, making them one of the most attractive islands in the Caribbean to visit and own a home in. I was fortunate enough to have been a guest of the award-winning hotelier and developer Simon Lowe whose passion for the Nevis way of life goes back over 15 years. This love of the island inspired him to bring together one of the world’s leading hotel operators, Aman, and one of world’s leading architects, Jean Michel Gathy, to create the Aman Nevis – a beautiful and private resort that will comprise 40 pavilion hotel suites and 40 spectacular branded Aman residences, all enjoying the legendary Aman service. There will also be a hill-top spa, beachside restaurant and gym club providing breathtaking ocean views towards the island of Montserrat.
Each owner will have an opportunity to choose the location of their villa, which will be set in two acres of lush grounds. To keep the naturalness of the island, the surroundings are tastefully landscaped using natural boulders from the island and over 5,000 newly planted palm trees. It is perfection realised. Every villa has a granite pool, a separate private swimming pool for the master bedroom and a social pool.
Reflecting the no-compromise Aman resort design philosophy, the villas are sophisticated and stylish in design. This to me is luxury at its most understated – a perfect complement to the natural beauty that surrounds it.
Like they say on Nevis: “You’re only a stranger here once.” I found Nevis a special place that really does tug at your heart strings long after you leave.
Nevis is certainly a high recommendation for those looking for a peaceful and stress-free holiday and/or home away from the maddening crowd.
For more information on the Aman Nevis Resort, contact:
+44(0)7951 060 757