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Nevis Is a Hub for Adventure, Design, & Relaxation

Satisfy your travel needs at this Caribbean island, then wash it all down with a local rum punch.

The Weekender
Nevis Is a Hub for Adventure, Design, & Relaxation
Photo: Courtesy of Golden Rock Inn
Welcome to The Weekender, Coveteur’s travel series where seasoned globetrotters share their insider guides to top destinations across the world. Read on for the best spots to eat, stay, and enjoy.

My first full day in Nevis, a smaller island off the coast of St. Kitts, I spent the morning lugging my body weight up the side of a mountain—ropes were involved—hacking through the jungle-like terrain as I ascended into a cloud at the top of Nevis Peak. The second, I was sunning myself by a pool enclosed in the most eclectic garden I’ve ever seen. The third, I was indulging in a massage beneath a sunset and waving palm fronds. This 36 square-mile island is laden with jungles and framed in beaches. Peppered throughout this sleepy town of roughly 12,000 residents, you’ll find historic touches in the form of crumbling churches and a scenic main street. Essentially, there’s something for every traveler.

I split my time between a beachfront resort (The Four Seasons Nevis) and an artist-designed getaway (Golden Rock Inn) nestled in the mountains. Plan your trip in such a fashion to fully experience all facets of the island. Though these accommodations are full experiences in themselves, the island's capital, Charlestown, offers a glimpse of the local scene, plus a few food haunts that cannot be missed. Think: the catch of the day smothered in a coconut sauce you will not soon forget. My final pro tip: Nevis is known for their rum punch (often referred to as the "killer bee" thanks to the Sunshine Beach Bar), so be sure to sample one every chance you get. Oh, and order a side of hot sauce with every dish.

If I've convinced you to book a trip, find more on where to stay, what to do, and where to eat in Nevis, below.

Where to Stay

Golden Rock Inn

Golden Rock Inn's secluded pool.

Photo: Courtesy of Camille Freestone

New York artists Helen and Brice Marden converted this former sugar estate dating back to the 1800s into a destination that prioritizes Nevis’ natural landscape and the owners' unique design sensibilities. Nestled in the jungle-like terrain, 11 rooms (one of which is literally a converted sugar mill) add to the intimate feel of the property. The design inclination leaks through in the details ranging from Patricia Urquoila’s Morosso and Tropicalia chairs sprinkled about to a Rene Ricard painting in the bar.

The gardens themselves, set across 100 acres, are a draw in and of themselves. (If you don’t end up staying here, remember the grounds are open for garden tours, so be sure to stop by.) Ask the gardener to knock a few mangoes off a tree for you (be warned, they are harder to catch than they look) and watch out for monkeys lurking about—they enjoy the mangoes as well.

The small estate promotes a very relaxed feel. I suggest spending as much time as possible lounging by the pool, which is framed with unique foliage. Order a fresh popsicle mid-afternoon then mosey down to the restaurant for dinner. But if you’re adventure-inclined, the hotel will set you up with any outside activities you’re interested in (see more on that below).


The Four Seasons Nevis

The private beach at Four Seasons Nevis.

Photo: Courtesy of Camille Freestone

A complement to Golden Rock’s secluded jungle energy, the Four Seasons Nevis satisfies all of your resort desires. Stroll inside the entry building and you’re met with a sweeping glance of the pool and beach—instant serenity. One-hundred-eighty-nine rooms, furnished with a lavish dose of beachy Caribbean charm with a slight retro nod, extend across the property of 350 acres and boast tantalizing views of the ocean and Nevis Peak.

Stroll along nearly three miles of beachfront or (my personal favorite) clock no steps whatsoever on a lounge chair beneath a beach cabana, barring those it takes to plunge into the water—beach or pool, it's up to you. Grab snorkeling gear on the beach to catch a glimpse of the fish, turtles, stingrays, and more swimming in the crystal blue depths. Then head down the dock for a sunset cocktail on the water or experience a rum tasting at the Crowned Monkey Rum Bar.

Take full advantage of this resort destination in the spa. Grab a massage in a traditional cottage that looks more like a tiny gingerbread house than a resort. For a real indulgence, you and your loved one can book the Spa Under the Stars—a private outdoor spa experience followed by a secluded dinner.


What to Do

Stroll Through Historic Charlestown

The Museum of Nevis History located in Charlestown.

Photo: Courtesy of Camille Freestone

Though these hotels offer an immersive experience in themselves, I highly recommend journeying outside of the properties to get a feel for the island’s culture. Charlestown is Nevis' capital and is very small, so you don't need more than a more morning here. First, head to the Museum of Nevis History located at Alexander Hamilton’s birthplace. (Hamilton is a highly-valued historical figure in Nevis). The island is also covered in beautiful old churches, dating back to the 1600s in some instances you'll catch a glimpse of on your stroll. All of which are set against the backdrop of a tropical landscape on one side and expansive ocean views on the other.

Take a Hike

The views before you enter the cloud as you climb Nevis Peak.

Photo: Courtesy of Camille Freestone

Tread with caution (both literally and metaphorically). I personally attempted (and completed, might I humbly add) the Nevis Peak, but I don’t recommend this for those looking for a leisurely hiking experience. I would classify this four-hour excursion as more of a climb than a hike—expect to have your hand around a rope most of the way up—but it is very satisfying to complete.

For those interested in a more blissful experience, Ocean Point leaves from Golden Rock Inn and extends about two hours in length. The Nevis Waterfall Hike offers (you guessed it) waterfall views, if that's your preference. Your hotel will likely be able to facilitate these activities for you.

Swim in the Hot Springs

The Nevis Hot Springs can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Photo: Courtesy of Camille Freestone

This one was admittedly a bit of an odd experience, but locals swear by the hot water’s restorative properties. Historically a hot spot for noblemen and dignitaries, the spring water is heated naturally by the island’s volcano. Wade into a small tiled pool to test the theory for yourself and experience over 100-degree Fahrenheit temperature for yourself. Plus, stroll by the Bath Hotel on your way over—it was built way back in 1778.

Where to Eat

The Rocks

Order the snapper at The Rocks.

Photo: Courtesy of Camille Freestone

The Rocks is the in-house restaurant at Golden Rock, but it caters to more than just hotel patrons. Ranked the second best restaurant on the island behind Indian Summer (more casual post-work fare), The Rocks offers an array of handcrafted cocktails and a mixture of fresh meat and seafood. Make sure to test the Conch Chowder and the Snapper (and a rum punch, of course).

The Hermitage Inn

Inside the historic Hermitage Inn.

Photo: Courtesy of Camille Freestone

Worth a visit for the interiors alone, the Hermitage Inn is one of the oldest wooden houses in the Caribbean. The main house is quaint and features a wood-paneled bar and a rather well-stocked library. Head to the restaurant for breakfast—I’ve heard the pumpkin pancakes are to die for—or sample some rum at the bar.

Passion Bar & Grill

Passion's fish of the day doused in coconut sauce.

Photo: Courtesy of Camille Freestone

At Passion Bar & Grill, you will really feel like a local as you make eye contact with goats while enjoying your meal. But don’t let that deter you. This was one of the best meals I had on my trip. Quench your thirst with a fresh juice (mango ginger, if you’re asking) then try the catch of the day and go for the coconut sauce when asked your preference (it’s what the house recommends). Whatever you do, do not leave without trying a corn fritter.

Shop Nevis Packing Essentials:

Nova Top

$325 $130

Nova Short

$185 $95

Arc Mini Basket

Marc Cross

Giulia Skirt

Silvia Tcherrasi

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