Arrival/Check-in: Getting to Nevis can be the most challenging part of the trip, either flying through Puerto Rico or St. Martin on Continental or Delta and then taking an island hop on the sometimes-unpredictable Winair. Once on the island, though, Nisbet Plantation is only a five-minute ride from the airport. The driver unloaded our bags and directed us to “just leave them there” while we checked in. We were greeted warmly at the office and offered a welcome drink as we filled out paperwork. Our rooms were a two-minute walk down the Avenue of Palms, a large lawn with palms leading from the Great House to the ocean. The receptionist escorting us pointed out our rooms’ amenities and told us the luggage would be delivered shortly — and it was. (28/30)
Guest Quarters: My wife and I were in Belle Vue, and our two daughters had a separate room. Our room, furnished with a king-size bed and a sitting area with a sofa, chair and coffee table, offered a magnificent ocean view. A small counter held a coffeemaker, a pot for hot water and a selection of teas and coffee, while an honor bar contained water, beer and soda. The large bathroom had a double sink, long vanity and a large tub and shower (water pressure could have been a little better). The porch offered two chaises and views of the ocean unimpeded by screens. The girls’ room was quite different; closer to the Great House and without an ocean view, it did have a nice screened porch — an excellent spot for reading. (26/30)
Services/Amenities: The bath amenities were a mix of Nisbet Plantation’s Palm Spa products and Gilchrist & Soames. There was no TV or radio — an intentional decision, I believe, as the owners want guests to relax and enjoy the resort. This is easily accomplished, with two wonderful beaches complete with fixed wooden umbrellas, tables, chaises and a bar. Hammocks swing between many of the palm trees and provide great places to relax and read a book.
Most guests take advantage of the modified American Plan, which includes breakfast and dinner. Breakfast, served poolside, features a modest buffet and a complete à la carte menu. Service was first-rate. Dinner is served in the main building, the Great House of a sugar plantation built in 1778 for the Nisbet family. Their daughter, Fanny Nisbet, was the wife of Admiral Horatio Nelson, one of the most notable military leaders in British history. This beautiful building with wide wooden floors complemented by period moldings and wallpaper exudes a friendly atmosphere. The main floor also features a comfy bar with lots of overstuffed chairs and sofas, while another lounge has a TV and various board games. Wireless Internet is available in the registration office and some of the Great House lounge areas.
The dinners were spectacular, with magnificent food and wonderful service. I particularly enjoyed the island tuna with eggplant chutney and lemon. The chef’s miso vegetable soup is a wonderful concoction. American Plan dinners end with a selection of desserts or cheese.
Lunch, not included, can be ordered from the vast menu at Sea Breeze, on the beach, where my group loved the mixed chips, like potato chips but made of island vegetables. Beware of Sea Breeze’s killer rum punch! (36/40)
Experience: Nisbet Plantation is a relaxing locale, well described as a 4-star property with 5-star service, thanks to a staff that is unfailingly friendly and helpful. My only regret was that I did not take the time to visit Palm Spa.
Total Score: (90/100)
Nisbet Plantation Beach Club
St. James Parish
Nevis, West Indies
tel 869 469 9325
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