By Jodi Burns
One of the Caribbean's best-kept secrets is a relatively unknown island in the West Indies called Nevis. As full-time working parents of two young girls (ages 4 and 2), my husband and I long to get away from it all together, just the two of us, each year. So when it comes time to set our out-of-office messages and line up the grandparents to watch the girls, we want to be as far from reality and our day-to-day as we possibly can - without leaving the time zone.
So when the time came around this year and I said, "Babe, let's go to Nevis this year." My husband replied, "Sure. To where? Nevis? Why Nevis?"
Here's how to answer that question.
It's easy and enjoyable to get to
Daily flights from Miami to St. Kitts make Nevis especially accessible for South Florida residents or those loyal to American Airlines or United. The flight is about 3 hours and upon landing, passengers get the thrill of deplaning like a celebrity flying on a private jet -- right on the tarmac.
I recommend making a stop at the lone store, the tiniest duty free liquor stand, to stock up for your stay before exiting the airport. After a quick shuttle ride, we met our ferry and set sail on a beautiful, 35-minute open-air boat ride to the island.
There's a Four Seasons Resort; need I say more?
If it's good enough for Four Seasons, it's good enough for us. This brand not only screams exclusivity and luxury, but now I also think it is genius for identifying this sprawling island as a place to call home.
When Travelzoo ran a deal for four nights for the price of three, I knew this was a deal for us. Fewer than 200 guest rooms are spread out in two-story buildings, offering beach or mountain views. Our room was a 60-second walk to the adult reflection pool and 90 seconds to the beach, where we were sometimes the only ones there, excepting the attentive staff offering smoothie shots, cocktails and refills of ice water.
We're not golfers, but we know a nice course when we see it. This one offered incredible views of the Caribbean, St. Kitts and the mountain, Nevis Peak. In checking out the surrounding running trails, I accidentally ended up on the challenging red course, which was no small feat and nothing short of breathtaking. It took me up a mountain trail, through a rain forest where I ran past monkeys (they were so cute!) and down across the 15th fairway. I ran past dozens of incredible villas and residences where celebrities are rumored to have vacationed (including Oprah, Britney and Beyonce and Jay Z).
Sweet P, the woman who braided my hair on the beach (when in Rome, why not channel my 12-year-old self?) told me stories of doing the hair of Kelly Ripa and her daughter Lola, too. The resort staff not only wanted you to enjoy your stay, but they also wanted you to enjoy their island, and it's an island that they are very proud of. Because of their suggestions, we left the property to see what the fuss was about.
You can hang out with cute dogs at one of the island's restaurants
Off the resort, we headed to Bananas, home to a dog that shares my name, Jodie, plus nine other dogs. This lush tropical paradise is hidden atop an old plantation estate. It maintains the vibe of a sugar plantation while offering a huge rum selection and Caribbean-inspired comfort food.
By far the most scenic spot at which we dined was the Golden Rock Plantation Inn. The grounds date back nearly 200 years and sit atop Nevis Peak. On a clear night, guests can view several Caribbean islands, including Antigua and a few others I can't pronounce. This old plantation has been fully restored and offers beautiful trees and gardens, and a great place for a group, wedding or a couple looking for a romantic evening to enjoy.
The Killer Bee at Sunshine's
When it comes to day drinking, I have my standard "go-to drinks" on vacation: Champagne, Coronas, rose and strawberry daiquiris. From the moment we stepped onto the ferry to Nevis, however, we heard tell of something called the Killer Bee at Sunshine's.
Sunshine's is a must-stop tourist attraction, five minutes by foot along the beach from the Four Seasons. The Killer Bee is a mix of rum, passion fruit juice, bitters, honey, lime juice and some club soda and is every bit refreshing as it is potent. While the Killer Bee buzzed through us, we talked with Smoothie, the man running the restaurant, about all the athletes who had visited Sunshine's. We also checked out the place's college sports memorabilia, including some from our beloved Gators.
Nevis has something for everyone, especially those who want to get off the beaten path without feeling like they have strayed too far. It's an island for adventure seekers, families and couples just like us, who want to be pampered in the sun, enjoy good food and drinks and have lots of laughs. It's a hidden gem in the Caribbean that deserves to be shared, even if those in the know want to continue to keep it a secret.
This post was originally published on Travelzoo.
Jodi Burns is a senior producer at Travelzoo and based in Miami. Travelzoo has 250 deal experts from around the world who rigorously research, evaluate and test thousands of deals to find those with true value.