From the moment the girls and I deplaned at the St. Kitts airport, we began to unwind. We were greeted with humid heat and a smiling member of the Four Season’s staff - ready to whisk us away to the private ferry that would take us the 25 minutes across the water to Nevis. We dubbed this ferry the “Speedboat to Paradise” as we sipped complimentary spiced rum punch while watching flying fish flit and flutter across the cerulean ocean waves, leading the way to our destination. Up ahead - the dormant volcano that forms the island of Nevis, named Nevis Peak, reached into the clouds, beckoning us closer. As we approached, we spotted our hotel - nestled among the lush landscape and adjacent to a white sandy beach, which stretched as far as the eye could see.
It wasn’t long before we’d swapped our leggings and Louis Vuitton luggage for bikinis, and plopped down side by side in the sand, frozen “Fruit Jam” cocktails in hand. We had arrived… A few hours of lounging and laughing, and eventually our tummies began to rumble. A short walk down the beach produced an oasis of local eateries - where we decided on an open air, oceanfront feast at Lime. After gorging on fresh seafood and “rice and peas” (the Nevisian term for rice and beans) we stumbled back down to the hotel and slipped sleepily into bed. I stretched my limbs across the crisp, soft sheets, nestled my head deep into the oversized down pillow and let the sound of the waves lapping at our window lull me to sleep before I could count to four seasons…
The next morning found us refreshed and ready to explore. We began with a fresh breakfast buffet at Neve and our first view of the hotel grounds. Later, a few of us took a long and leisurely stroll along the coast and into Charlestown, Nevis’ capital, in search of local flavor. While the little town itself may not seem like much to some visitors, we found the storm beaten buildings overgrown with bright bougainvillea to be inspirational backdrops for a photo shoot. In fact, when we stumbled upon an abandoned beach bar along the way, the girls and I just had to pause for a few fun shots. Don’t you think this is what Calypso had in mind when they made this eyelet vest? Once in town, we uncovered a hole-in-the wall spot called Jamaicy’s for lunch, and as the owner/hostess/waitress spouted off the three menu items of the day; we knew we’d found what we were looking for. Moist jerk chicken and succulent salt fish for the price of an appetizer at Miss Lily’s in NYC? Yes please!
On our sandy walk home we plotted our evening, which would be spent celebrating my dear friend’s birthday. The craftiest among us had smuggled streamers and balloons in our carry-ons - which we used to deck out the hotel suite for an island style surprise party! We folded origami paper into old-school fortune tellers (remember the kind you made in grade school?!) and scribbled in fortunes from the thoughtful to the absurd. We shook up cocktails of tequila with fresh mango puree (courtesy of the downstairs bar), and giggled the night away reading eachother fortunes like “you will find your true love on Nevis…but he’ll be an eccentric monkey wrangler.” But first… a big birthday dinner at Mango began the festivities. The waves crashed onto the shore just feet from our feet, and between the 6 of us we must have ordered almost the entire menu… from curried shrimp to grilled lobster and a seafood soup that made me swoon, every dish was as heavenly as the stars sparkling overhead. We toasted bottles of rose to friendship, to life and to the best of it all…
It was with that gumption, that we decided the next day to tackle the intimidating Nevis Peak! We ditched our cork wedges and embellished sandals in favor of hiking boots, packed a backpack full of water and took a deep breath as we faced the steep climb ahead. But we couldn’t do it alone. A hired a guide named Sheldon showed us the way through the rainforest all the way up to the cloud forest at the summit. He made it look almost easy as he swung his legs over boulders; leaping from rock to root. But as we dug our manicured fingers into the mud, cracking dirty jokes and not a single complaint along the way - Sheldon declared us to be “no ordinary city slickers.” 4 hours and a short rainstorm later, we emerged back at the bottom of the volcano: looking like we’d been dunked in chocolate mousse, but victorious! I awoke the next day with aching muscles, and decided that the best way to recover would be with a morning massage. Moments later, I was swathed in an oversized bathrobe at the Four Season’s spa. I was ready to indulge in 50 minutes of deep tissue treatment and a soak in the steam room that would banish any last bits of tension still lingering from the chaos of life back in NYC. As I shuffled around the ladies lounge sipping lemongrass infused water, I felt as pampered, lucky and thankful as could be. But like all good things, our terrific trip too came to an end… As we once again boarded the Speedboat to Paradise, this time in the other direction, we threw mental pennies into the ocean, wishing to return to Nevis as we watched the shore disappear in sight.
So, if you’re planning an end of summer getaway, or looking to escape the cold of another New York winter… consider Nevis, you won’t regret it.
WANT TO BOOK A ROOM? The Four Seasons has several amazing offers that make it easier than ever to vacation in style. Free nights, air credits and amazing packages. CLICK for more info and mention Natty Style when booking for an extra treat. ;)