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Exiting a car, receiving a welcome drink and lining up at the check-in counter is one thing. But pulling up via speedboat to a private pier flanked by a white-sand beach and Nevis Peak in the distance — then being handed refreshments — is another.
The fact that resort staff had warmly greeted me by name and escorted me directly to my guestroom without a stop at the lobby was icing on the cake.
At Four Seasons Resort Nevis, which sits on the smaller of the two Caribbean islands comprising St. Kitts and Nevis, this excellent first impression lasted well until I reluctantly said my goodbyes at the end of my stay.
Accommodations at Four Seasons Nevis are more attractive than ever, too. As part of an extensive ongoing renovation, which began last May, decor in the 189 guestrooms and suites now reflect a modern interpretation of 19th-century England with a Caribbean twist. Paisley-print wallpaper in soft hues contrasts with bolder patterns and pops of color. Brass accents and mahogany furniture are also aesthetically on trend.
Well-appointed marble bathrooms feature both bathtubs and showers, in addition to L’Occitane toiletries. My Ocean-View Room opened to a patio, where I would alternate between savoring room service and taking brief naps on a chaise lounge to recover from sun-drenched days.
And like with most Four Seasons stays, such days can be fully customized to one’s liking. Some clients will feel inspired by the leisurely pace of the surrounding island, where not a single traffic light can be found. (Donkeys, goats and sheep are usually the culprits behind any holdups on the road.) They might choose to ease into the tropical haven, hopping from one hammock to the next on the white-sand Pinney’s Beach. Or, guests may seek the tranquility of the 12,000-square-foot, open-air Spa at Four Seasons Resort Nevis.
However, I was more tempted by the warm Caribbean Sea and other adventures around the sprawling 353-acre property. I first explored the turquoise water on a complimentary stand-up paddleboard, and then via snorkeling. Nearby, a young family was having the time of their lives, shrieking with laughter as they bounced on a large overwater trampoline. (Other free nonmotorized sports include kayaking and windsurfing.)
While I didn’t spot any fish, I learned that another island animal would not be as shy. Green vervet monkeys are rampant on Nevis, and clients are likely to spot the creatures at their stomping ground of choice: the resort’s impeccably manicured 18-hole Robert Trent Jones II signature golf course. And, indeed, I soon came nearly face to face with the mischievous monkeys that would happily steal the pineapple slice from an unattended rum punch cocktail.
There, I also tested my aptitude for a fun game of foot golf, a precision sport that uniquely combines golf with soccer. Led by an exceedingly patient guide, the approximately 1½-hour, on-demand activity is best for kids ages 5 and up and can accommodate groups of up to 20.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by valerie (chen) adair 👋🏻 (@valerielily) on Feb 14, 2019 at 2:00pm PST
A post shared by valerie (chen) adair 👋🏻 (@valerielily) on Feb 14, 2019 at 2:00pm PST
Though the view from each of the sport’s nine holes is spectacular, the golf course’s fourth green — featuring a clear vista of Mount Nevis enveloped in lush vegetation — is the real showstopper.
Working up a sweat can lead to a big appetite, which is best satiated first with a paw paw pepper sauce cooking class (and, afterward, a tasty meal at one of the resort’s five dining venues). Under the guidance of chef Llewellyn Clarke, I learned how to create the Caribbean staple with local produce including tangy scotch bonnet peppers.
I tested my capacity for spice, using conch fritters as a tasting vehicle and feeling grateful to have a rum punch on hand when temperatures rose. I was also able to take a bottle of my creation home — a wonderful souvenir of a fiery little island called Nevis.
The resort is currently closed for the second phase of its renovation project, which will include the main pool and more. It will reopen Oct. 1. The full scope of the revamp will be completed in late fall. Other recent updates include the Great House lobby; Crowned Monkey Rum Bar, formerly Library Bar; and EsQuilina, previously Neve restaurant.
The DetailsFour Seasons Resort Neviswww.fourseasons.com/nevis