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An alluring pair of islands in the Caribbean’s West Indies, Nevis and St. Kitts constitute one country (formally called the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis). However, each isle is distinctly its own. The larger St. Kitts attracts more tourists, while the less trodden Nevis offers fewer crowds but still plenty of natural beauty.
And on Nevis — where there is not a single traffic light and occasionally more goats, sheep and donkeys than cars on the road — travelers will be fascinated by a combination of untouched white-sand beaches, lush vegetation, a compelling plantation heritage and exceptionally cordial locals. Buildings stand no taller than a coconut palm tree, so stunning views of either the Caribbean Sea or the towering 3,232-foot Nevis Peak remain unimpeded.
Luckily for discerning clients who prefer the peace and quiet of this 36-square-mile island in lieu of neighboring St. Kitts, a handful of exceptional accommodations await. The following three properties provide a modern, high-quality hotel experience, while still capturing the energy and spirit that is distinctively Nevis.
Four Seasons Resort Nevis, West IndiesFor clients looking for a paradisiacal resort experience on Nevis, Four Seasons Resort Nevis, West Indies (FS Nevis) is just the ticket. Like all Four Seasons hotels, the property excels in not only its accommodations, experiences and amenities, but also its service. During my three-night stay at the property, I was always greeted by name and with big grins, and the staff magically anticipated all my whims, desires and other requests before I could say a word.
The sprawling property stretches across 350 acres and offers 189 redesigned guestrooms and suites as well as more than 50 villas. Room decor feels like an extension of the breezy nirvana just outside thanks to plenty of natural light; a mostly neutral color palette accentuated with vivid patterns; and curated mahogany furniture. Guests will also recognize botanical influences of 19th-century England balanced with nods to the resort’s Caribbean locale.
A spacious marble bathroom accompanies each room, too, stocked with L'Occitane toiletries, a bathtub and a large shower. In my Ocean-View Room, I also appreciated the expansive private balcony — big enough to fit a small table and two chairs, plus two chaise lounge chairs — and a Cafe Britt espresso machine.
But FS Nevis is far more than just its guestrooms, as the resort has a wide array of offerings to keep guests both busy and satisfied. Seven gourmet restaurant and bars run the gamut, each incorporating Caribbean flavors into innovative dishes and refreshments. The recently renovated EsQuilina, for example, transforms from a breakfast buffet in the morning into a Mediterranean-inspired fine dining experience come evening, with a crudo bar, freshly grilled seafood and more.
Three infinity pools, including an adults-only option, invite guests for a refreshing dip, while the Caribbean Sea, only steps away, promises salty fun with the help of complimentary nonmotorized watersports such as kayaking, windsurfing, snorkeling and stand-up paddleboarding. Also on property are an 18-hole Robert Trent Jones II signature golf course, tennis facilities, a 12,000-square-foot spa, a complimentary Kids For All Seasons program and more.
Note: Phase two of FS Nevis’ renovation will begin in June and will include a complete redevelopment of the main pool and Cabana restaurant. To provide the best possible experience for guests during this process, the property will be closed starting June 1 and will reopen on Oct. 1.
Golden Rock InnWith splashes of neon and pops of primary colors that contrast against stone buildings and tangled jungle foliage, Golden Rock Inn looks like a work of art. So, it’s no surprise that the bohemian boutique hotel’s owners are two creative types — renowned contemporary American painter Brice Marden and his wife, Helen Marden, a visionary artist.
The two — along with landscape designer Raymond Jungles and architect Ed Tuttle, who is perhaps most known for his work with Aman Resorts — transformed the former sugar plantation into what it is today: an intimate 11-room resort that sits on 100 acres of Nevis Peak’s lush slopes.
Clients will especially love the exclusive, two-story Sugar Mill lodging, which allows up to three adults, or a couple with two children, to stay overnight in the property’s 1800s stone mill. (Anna Wintour is said to have rested her famously bobbed coiffure in the same room.) Though no air conditioning is available across the property (including guestrooms), amenities including Le Labo toiletries, private outdoor lounging areas, complimentary laundry service and complimentary daily breakfast are ample consolation.
Don’t miss the fresh lobster sandwich, best accompanied with a liberally spiked rum punch, at on-site restaurant The Rocks. Additionally, take time to wander the extensive gardens encompassing 40 acres; a tour led by Golden Rock’s head gardener is available upon request.
Montpelier Plantation & BeachNestled in the tropical foothills of Nevis Peak is Montpelier Plantation & Beach, a boutique property that swiftly wins over guests with its understated elegance. A Relais and Chateaux member, the hotel was once an 18th-century sugar plantation — as evidenced by the 300-year-old stone sugar mill that has since been converted into the Mill Privee restaurant. Here, guests can dine on a five-course tasting menu by candlelight or gather a party of up to 24 guests.
With 60 acres but only 19 plantation-style guestrooms — including one suite and two villas — Montpelier offers a quiet retreat. Accommodations each have a private terrace, views of the Caribbean Sea, Gilchrist & Soames bath amenities and decor that blends tropical and traditional influences.
In addition to Mille Privee, other on-site restaurants include the AAA Four Diamond Restaurant 750; Indigo; The Great Room; Pool Bar; and Montpelier Beach Bar, which is set on the hotel’s 3-acre private beach that requires a shuttle for access. A special dining option is the beach barbecue held weekly on Mondays.
The DetailsNevis Island Authoritywww.nevisisland.com