The charming Nisbet Plantation is a luxury hotel on Nevis, tucked away along the north coast on what was once, as the name suggests, a former sugar plantation.
There are 36 rooms and suites in lemon-coloured cottages with wood tiled roofs dotted around the extensive grounds. The interiors are not overly luxurious, but certainly comfortable and tasteful, with white clapboard roofs, wicker furniture and well-appointed en suite bathrooms.
But the main attractions are, of course, outside, with supremely manicured lawns leading through groves of palm trees to a quintessentially Caribbean beach and decent sized pool.
Dining options include the Coconuts Restaurant, which serves a great breakfast in a prime beachfront location, while evening meals can be enjoyed at the Great House where the emphasis is on a wide selection of Caribbean specialities. The Sea breeze bar is great for a sunset cocktail or two, as well as snacks to fuel those highly energetic sunbathing sessions.
Activities on offer from the hotel include walks through the rainforest, snorkelling and diving excursions, island hopping, riding along the beach and deep sea fishing. Alternatively full pampering is on offer in the Nisbet Spa, which offers massages and other body treatments, facials, manicures and pedicures using La Natura and Collective Skin Care products. And if even that sounds a little too active, there's always a strategic beach hammock to retreat to.
Why We Love It
Of all the former plantations that have since been turned into luxury hotels, only Nisbet is actually right on the beach.
An immaculate Relais & Chateaux property, Montpelier Plantation is set in a 60 acre sugar estate and has been meticulously restored in keeping with its heritage.
The hotel, in the hills on Nevis, has just 19 rooms including two suites, and all with sea views and with a private beach within easy striking distance. The rooms are decked out with stylish fabrics and furniture in an elegant mix of traditional and tropical design with the chintz that afflicts so many Caribbean hotels mercifully absent.
The trade winds that sweep through the islands should keep the rooms deliciously cool, but there is also air conditioning in case it gets too steamy.
The hotel serves excellent food, and in the evening there are two dining choices: the Terrace - an al fresco restaurant with outstanding views across Nevis and St Kitts too, or the Mill, a 300 year-old sugar mill, converted into a restaurant but retaining its original steps, floor and cut stonewalls to create a truly atmospheric place to dine.
There are plenty of activities available at Montpelier for those wanting more than just to relax in the sun by the freshwater swimming pool. There is a spa and also a tennis court or several rainforest trails to explore.
Why We Love It
You can go for a hike around the island's tropical rainforest and deserted sugar plantations with specially trained island ecologists.
Four Seasons Resort Nevis
The Four Seasons Resort Nevis is a tropical oasis set amidst sweeping rain forest, golden beaches and coconut palms providing the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the Caribbean.
196 spacious rooms and 50 private residences are decorated to the high Four Seasons standards and command either ocean, mountain or championship golf course views.
Dining at the resort includes everything from casual beachside dining at the Ocean Terrace to more formal seafood delicacies upstairs in the great house. As for drinking, guests can enjoy cocktails at the 101 Rums Bar or a nightcap in the Library Bar.
The hotel boasts unparalleled facilities on the island, including an 18 -hole golf course, tranquil spa, 10 tennis courts, swimming pools and of course a stunning expanse of beach.
For the water babies there's an expansive range of water sports available including stand-up paddle boarding, bottom fishing and kneeboarding (to name a few). Other excursions include hiking, biking and horse riding around Nevis and the mountains.
Why We Love It
The hotel offers a 'Spa under the Stars' experience for couples to enjoy massages amidst the private gardens before a candle-lit dinner. How more relaxed could you get?