When Paradise Beckons
Hard to believe an “Eden” like this still exists: The Island of Nevis
By Alona Abbady Martinez
The unspoiled Caribbean Island of Nevis is a place most thought could no longer
be found—no traffic lights, no rush, and more monkeys than men. It’s bubbly sister island St. Kitts has developed into a mecca for tourists arriving by cruise ship to explore a heavily visited terrain, but Nevis, whose shallower waters prohibit large boats from docking, remains thankfully undiscovered by the masses.
Save for die-hard fans of the hit Hamilton who will tell you it’s the birthplace of the Founding Father, Nevis (pronounced NEE-vis) is a paradise that remains mostly unknown. It earned its name when Spanish explorers first saw its commanding mountain, a dormant volcano, and called it Nuestra Señora de las Nieves, Our Lady of the Snows. At 3,232 feet, Nevis Peak is a constant reminder to the island’s 12,000 residents, and the tourists that come, that nature takes priority here, a message reinforced by the lush foliage and monkeys that roam freely as well. There are several luxury accommodations available in Nevis, but Four Seasons, which sprawls along 350 acres, serves as an ideal location to experience both the ocean and mountain that is this destination’s claim to fame. While the resort offers standard rooms, its biggest draw lies in the more than 50 luxurious villas, some of which are steps from the sea, while others tucked deep inside the rainforest.
All offer complete access to the amenities and services of the hotel. Ranging from one to seven bedrooms, each villa has a distinctive style, with the common denominator of privacy, luxury, and an inspirational vista. There are perks to staying in a villa well beyond the Instagram-worthy views. For starters, each comes with its own six-seater golf cart and a Dedicated Villa Ambassador, the resort’s way of making sure all needs are met. Prior to arrival, guests fill out a provision form to ensure the state-of-the-art kitchen is properly stocked. Those not wanting to cook can request one of the property’s celebrated chefs to prepare (and clean up) a memorable meal or head to Mango, the waterfront restaurant which features vibrant Caribbean-Latin fu-sion cuisine with signature dishes such as Jerk Rub Ribs and Banana Leaf Wahoo. Perhaps the eatery’s most notable asset is 101 Rums Bar, the only bar in the Caribbean dedicated to fine-aged rums, with over 120 such labels to date.
Chief Mixologist Kendie Williams is at the helm blending homemade mango fruit purees, hot pepper sauce, island spices, and hand-picked herbs to create award-winning cocktails with Envision flair. Thrill-seekers may wish to hike Nevis Peak, a grueling but rewarding climb that must be done with a guide. For those explorers that would rather not break a sweat, they can tour the island in an open-air vehicle (Polaris 4×4) that traverses off-road, making stops at historical sites, the rainforest, and other points of interest with Funky Monkey, a friendly company with a memorable name. Of course, one may never want to leave Four Seasons’ tiny microcosm of paradise. For starters, there’s the championship golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones II and a world-renowned tennis program as well. Those looking for serenity will find it in the open-air spa or one of the three infinity pools, particularly the adults-only pool overlooking the tranquil Caribbean. Beachgoers will by enchanted by the clear, turquoise waters of Pinney’s Beach where four private cabanas are available to guests. These gingerbread-trimmed cottages pay homage to the region’s rich history and culture with names inspired by native music and dance: Calypso, Merengue, Reggae and Soca. The monkey tour is a must: a caravan of golf carts follow a guide throughout the resort’s more remote areas spotting the curious and adorable primates originally brought to the island by French explorers as pets. Today, there are literally thousands of them. They come out looking for food, which is mostly small seeds and fruits, and are particular to mangoes, of which this tiny nation of 36 square miles boasts a whopping 44 varieties. Time has a way of moving too quickly when we need it most to slow down, something that happens too often within the embrace of this hidden treasure. It is no surprise the off-the-radar gem of the Caribbean is a favorite for celebrities to slip in and out of unnoticed. Luckily for those who visit, the spell this majestic, unassuming, and welcoming island nation will cast has those that discover it planning return trips again and again.