Thursday, March 5, 2015

Monkeys, Beaches, and More Touring Nevis

I slept well after a full day that had included an amazing snorkeling trip on a catamaran. After dressing casually I took a stroll down to the beach to meet my friend and fellow travel writer, Sue Campbell, for breakfast at Nisbet Plantation in Nevis.

Coconuts is the name of the beachfront restaurant at the resort. It was once again a beautiful day to enjoy the view of the turquoise sea while we ate. 

I had some tasty banana coconut pancakes with fresh juice and yogurt.

We didn’t have much time to admire the view as we were being picked up soon for a tour of Nevis with a representative of the island’s tourism board.

Our first stop was to look at the remains of the last sugar plantation on the island. It was here we also started talking about the monkeys.

We were told the green monkeys in Nevis outnumber the people, yet we hadn’t seen any in the three days we had been there. 

There were none to be seen at the old plantation, so our hopes were on the next stop, a rebuilt plantation.

We parked the car and took a walk through a lush pathway. It opened up to quite an oasis.

The modern and eclectic furnishings and art at Golden Rock Plantation definitely caught my eye. Everything around us was a piece of art, which wasn’t surprising since the owner is a New York artist. Even the pool appeared to be “drawn” into the mountains (Nisbet is the only hotel on a beach).

We were back in the car, looking for monkeys again on our way to Hermitage, a totally different, yet also luxurious property. This one seemed quainter and still had the feeling of a plantation left within the pastel walls.

Montpelier Plantation was the next accommodation we stopped at and it is certainly fit for royalty. 

In fact, Princess Diana agreed with that statement and had been a guest there, along with her two young princes.

By the time we were done touring hotels, I had a clearer picture of Nevis. Nearly all the hotels on the island are luxury, but not in the sense you would expect in the U.S. 

They were more boutique hotels with attention to detail and service in a few dozen rooms.

I had heard from locals and other tourists that Bananas was the bar to visit. We hadn’t had a chance any of the evenings, so we asked to stop by for cocktails.

Sue and I drank them on the rooftop, watching the waves and imagining that, yes, this place had to have an amazing sunset.

It was after that stop that we finally saw some monkeys in the road. We weren’t able to get any close-ups, but at least we were able to witness them with our own eyes.

After driving through Nevis’ main downtown of Charleston, it was time for lunch.

We ended the tour with lunch at Chrishi Beach Club. The view from our table was just amazing, one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve seen. We also had a view of St. Kitts.

I really enjoyed my Raspberry Daiquiri and pizza, and Sue couldn’t stop raving about her Fish and Chips.

Before we left the restaurant, we spoke to the owner a bit. She showed us the beach houses she has been building next to the restaurant. The houses themselves were fairly basic, but they had that same breathtaking view the restaurant did and they were mere steps from the beach.

We were back at Nisbet Plantation in time for my massage. Although the spa itself is not very big, the masseuse was top notch and did the job of relaxing me even more.

I dressed for dinner and met Sue up at the Great House for drinks and dinner. The hotel’s General Manager, Alistair Forrest, was also there performing with his band. Sue joined in with them for a few songs.

We enjoyed music, cocktails, and our final dinner at Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, which included a tender goat stew.  Fortunately, we did have some time to enjoy the grounds until the next afternoon, when we’d be heading to St. Kitts. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Sun, Fun and Snorkel in Nevis and St. Kitts

I woke up to palm trees swaying and a light ocean breeze. I didn’t take me long to remember I was a Nisbet Plantation in Nevis, a boutique slice of paradise.

After some light yoga, I walked down to the beach for breakfast. My cottage was one of the first ones so it wasn’t that close to the beach, but close enough so that the sense of the waves instantly relaxed me.

Coconuts is the restaurant for breakfast at NisbetPlantation and I don’t think I could have dreamed up a better scene for the morning. It’s open air dining with clear views of the beach.

They offer a buffet filled with fresh fruit and juice – including a different special juice each day – breads and yogurt. You can then order their specialties from their menu.

I thought I was keeping it simple with a veggie filled omelet and corned beef hash, but the hash turned out to be like no other I had previously. It included fruit (pineapple?) and was absolutely delicious.

My friend and fellow travel writer Sue Campbell is an absolute beach lover and I let her do her own thing while I walked along the sand and took it all in.

I had grown up near the ocean, but living away from it has made me appreciate it more and, this resort was on a perfect beach. 

While some people could lie on the sand and play in the water all day, I preferred to walk along the water and take in the blue hues.

Before getting ready for our catamaran boat trip to St. Kitts I did some laps in the pool. 

Despite the fact that the resort was full, there was so much room for everyone here that I felt like I had it all to myself.

It was a bit too warm for the hot tub, but I vowed to come back and take advantage of the beach views from that comfortable spot.

Calvin, my driver from the previous day, came to pick us up and take us to the boat. The dock was at the Four Seasons Hotel so we had a chance to take a look at that luxurious property before we took off on the catamaran with Leeward Island Charters.

I would highly recommend this tour company and can honestly say it was one of the most fun island trips I have ever had. They had an open bar, music, and dancing on the boat. At the St. Kitts snorkel site, they were very helpful with equipment and provided us easy access to the water.

The afternoon was a blast and I know Sue and Phaon, another travel writer we met at Nisbet Plantation, would completely agree as they had some great snorkeling and were on the boat deck for the dancing.

We were back at Nisbet Plantation in time for High Tea on the patio of the Great House. I enjoyed a cup of jasmine tea and some scones before heading back to my cabin for a rest. There’s nothing like relaxing in the sun for hours to make you want to take a nap!

I dressed for dinner and met Sue for cocktails at the Great House before dinner. It was a beautiful night and we decided to get an outside table so we could feel the breeze and look at the stars.

We had another luscious international dinner. I really went for the variety with a chicken enchilada, vegetable pasta, and chocolate cake and ice cream for dessert. Sue stuck with the steak and wasn’t disappointed.

We once again retired early, getting ready for another sun-filled day in Nevis.