After three nights in tropical mountain paradise, we were certainly sad to leave Montpelier. The happy news, though? Our honeymoon wasn’t over! After a short trip down the mountain and around the island, we arrived at Nisbet Plantation Beach Club.
Once we had decided on traveling to Nevis, John began to explore places to stay, and Nisbet was an immediate and obvious choice. They’ve received the AAA Four Diamond Award for the last 7 years, they were Conde Nast Traveler’s #1 Resort in the Caribbean for the last 6 years, and #1 in the Caribbean according to Travel + Leisure for the last two years. They also have fabulous reviews on Trip Advisor. (John loves Trip Advisor, so this meant a lot to him!) Aside from all the awards, we liked that Nisbet, which is directly on the beach (in fact, the Caribbean’s only historic plantation inn on the beach), would be a nice foil to the mountains of Montpelier.
When we arrived at reception we were given our choice of their signature welcome drinks; we chose the Palm Frond, which was delicious and pineapple-y despite its alarming color. We walked down the Avenue of Palms to our cottage, which, like the one we stayed in at Montpelier, was a duplex. (We were in a deluxe garden suite.) All of Nisbet’s buildings are a buttery yellow color, giving the whole resort a warm and friendly feeling.
There are about 15 cottages scattered across Nisbet’s property, and each is surrounded by almost a quarter acre of land, which keeps things feeling private. Compared to Montpelier, the decor was definitely more Caribbean in feel, but elegant Caribbean. Nisbet bills itself as “not ultra fancy and opulent, just private, romantic, and personal,” and John and I definitely found that to be an accurate description. This was the view from our cottage:
After exploring the beach a bit and playing a few rounds of croquet, it was time for afternoon tea! Nevis is a former British colony (their head of state is still the Queen!), and the prevalence of tea was one of several holdovers from colonialism. To our delight, the resort’s cat, Henry, always made an appearance at tea (as is only appropriate for tea, he was very well behaved).
We opted to skip lunch most days in favor of afternoon tea, which was included with our room and served on the terrace of the Great House from 4-5 each day. Tea consisted of individual pots of tea (we tried the highlighted special each day — green, lemongrass, basil, and honey and lemon) as well as scones, sandwiches, cookies, and cake. YUM! I was so sad to leave tea behind when we headed home.
Dinner that night was in the Great House, as it was three out of the four nights we stayed at Nisbet. We were greeted upon arrival by the wife of the husband-and-wife owner team, which was a lovely personal touch, and definitely a benefit of staying at a smaller resort!
Each dinner was three courses, and there were generally three choices for your starter, four choices for your entree, and four choices for dessert. Each meal included an amuse bouche, as well. John had the “Taste of Nevis” option each night (including things like curry, snapper, and jerk chicken), and loved each one. The food was excellent, though slightly homier, with bolder flavors, and less refined, than Montpelier.
Our first full day at Nisbet revolved around our first ever massage! We did a couple’s treatment in their cute little spa, and though we were a bit nervous going in, we really enjoyed ourselves! I still wouldn’t say I’m a massage person, but I could have laid there for hours with those warm towels they put on your feet at the end…
The rest of that day and most of our other days was spent reading at our cottage, lounging in the hammocks at the beach, snorkeling, or walking along the shoreline. I wouldn’t say Nisbet was a snorkeler’s paradise, since there weren’t any terribly impressive reefs, but we enjoyed paddling around :)
One super cool thing? Andrew “Hollywood” Nisbet (apparently a Nisbet institution!) climbed up a palm tree outside our cottage, dropped down a coconut, then cut it open (with a machete!) for us to taste!
On Thursday, our big adventure was renting a four wheeler to explore the island! All went smoothly once we adjusted to driving on the “wrong” side of the road and learned to avoid the random herds of goats. Though we might not have learned as much as if we had taken a guided tour, we liked having the freedom to chart our own course and stop wherever we wanted. We saw lots of churches…
…a gorgeous resort, Golden Rock, with the most amazing gardens (and striped pool deck!):
…and of course, beautiful beaches.
We also crossed over to the Atlantic side of the island, which was TOTALLY different than the Caribbean side! It felt like we were on a Scottish moor!
That evening we took our one and only dip in the oceanside hot tub. We enjoyed the most perfect sunset from our perch after everyone else had turned in to get ready for dinner!
Thursday night is Nisbet’s weekly Caribbean Beach BBQ, which attracts visitors from all the other resorts on island. The evening began with a cocktail party, then continued with a surf-and-turf style meal cooked in front of you, and concluded with dancing to a local band on the beach under the stars! In my mind, this was about as “traditional Caribbean” as Nevis got, and it was just the right amount for us!
Our last day on Nevis was spent enjoying Nisbet’s beach, which was supremely easy to do. I also had a last serving of heart-shaped banana pancakes, my favorite Nevis breakfast!
The next day we took a taxi, then a water taxi, to St. Kitts, and boarded our flight back to America. We traveled with a couple who had been coming to Nisbet — not just Nevis, Nisbet — for 15 years in a row (!), which really underscored the most remarkable thing about the property: the staff. By our first breakfast (less than 24 hours after we had arrived), everyone from the hosts to the waiters to the owners seemed to know our names, and always greeted us with a warm smile. We saw many guests launch into long conversations with the staff, but there was no pressure to engage if you were looking for a quiet meal. This, I think, is the reason most guests return to Nisbet year after year — guests are truly treated as family. Though I don’t think we’ll be lucky enough to return every year, we would be delighted to make it back at some point!
John put together a little film from our trip — enjoy!
Both of us are happy to answer any questions about Nevis, Nisbet, or Montpelier, so don’t hesitate to ask! Thanks for indulging my travelogue!!