Nevis sits few miles and a world away from neighbouring St. Kitts, seen across The Narrows.
Nevis. It stole my heart five minutes after I walked off the ferry from St. Kitts.
We were on a day trip to Nevis and looking for the gentleman who was going to arrive with our rental vehicle. The staff at the Nevis Port Authority were concerned he wasn’t there, the taxi drivers were concerned he wasn’t there…and immediately everybody seemed to get on their cell phone to track him down. “That’s no way to treat a guest,” someone mumbled. (He showed up a scant five minutes late, by the way.)
That was the beginning of a love affair with Nevis. The welcome, the graciousness, the civility, makes you feel as if you are a guest on the entire island.
I promised myself I would come back to stay and during the past 17 years, I have had the privilege of making five visits with stays at Montpelier Plantation and Beach (three times!), Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, Golden Rock Inn and Oualie Beach Hotel.
The people we met made it clear from the start: refined, as it is, the island has no pretensions. Tucked between the blue of the sea to the impossible green of Mount Nevis, Nevis has a broader appeal than I might have expected – families find plenty of activities, couples explore the many restaurants and bars together, and single travelers find other like-minded visitors to chat with. While Nevis is upscale and can be pricey, there is a place for everyone, regardless of age, nationality or income level.
This small island of 12,000 Nevisians is big on living well. With a gracious present and a fascinating past, Nevis ticks many boxes: safety, history, beauty, fine dining, island-hopping and relaxation. Celebrities and VIPs frequent this island but they do it under the radar because they can slip into anonymity.
Nevisians proudly assert that they have perfected the art of “liming”. Days easily melt away in Nevis. The most difficult decisions are around where to dine. The dining establishments on this island rival Anguilla and Barbados, with a slightly more forgiving bill.
My favourite pastime on Nevis is making the rounds to all hotels. It’s easy to do: drinks at one hotel, lunch at another, afternoon tea at the next. The best thing is that I am treated like a favourite guest even if I am not staying there.
For Canadians, Americans and Brits, the gateway to Nevis is St. Kitts by ferry or water taxi. The public ferry leaves Basseterre and takes about 30 minutes to get to Charlestown. Private water taxis run between Reggae Beach in St. Kitts and Oualie Beach on Nevis. A small airport services inter-island flights from Antigua, St. Martin and Puerto Rico.
Photo courtesy of Montpelier Plantation & Beach