Tuesday 22 October 2019

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Home > Nisbet plantation PR by PR

NISBET PLANTATION Personally Recommended by Pat Richardson

I’d better start by admitting it: this hotel is one of my all-time favourites. It’s not just the stunning, made-in-heaven setting, or the holiday-you-dream-of weather – although both certainly help. It’s the way the staff here always make you feel like family, all the way through your stay. It starts with a welcome that couldn’t be warmer, and ends with a wave-off – hugs and all - that makes you feel they really don’t want you to go. And you won’t, either!

I like to arrive at the island by sea, after flying into St Kitts; it takes a little longer than flying to Nevis itself but I think, where possible, this is the best way to ‘meet’ an island. Airports the world over all look much the same, after all, and most don’t give you very much sense of place. Nisbet has its own water taxi service, so you’re collected at the airport and whisked by speedboat to Oualie Beach on Nevis in 30 minutes.

The taxi ride to the hotel takes but five minutes. It’s a colourful kaleidoscope of a drive, with lush, tropical greenery everywhere - palms, banana trees, ferns, bright, exotic flowers twining their way up candy-box coloured cottages - plus smiling faces and friendly waves, goats grazing the grass verges, and monkeys crossing the road with an impudent lack of haste.

And then, the white picket fence where we turn in, the remains of the old sugar mill at the front of the Great House, someone to carry your bags, and a chilled, tropical, 'Welcome' drink with your name on it. Perfect.

Soon, you’re being shown to your home-from-home in one of the lemon-drop-yellow cottages dotted in the lushly lawned grounds, along or across the plantation’s stunning axis: the Avenue of Palms. With your back to the Great House, you’re looking down to the sea, swirled with shades of turquoise, jade and cobalt, and sparkling with scattered diamonds of sunlight. Turn your back on that - when you can bear to - and the Great House is dwarfed by the 3,232-foot Nevis Peak. Doesn’t sound very high, I agree, but on this small island it’s the main feature.

By now, you’ll be so unwound that you’re almost horizontal – just give in! Flip the ceiling-fan switch and lie on your king-sized bed, stretch out on your balcony, porch or patio’s lounger, head for the hammock strung between two palm trees on the beach, spread a towel on the sugar-white sand, slip into a swimsuit to float in the super-cool pool or the sea. And r-e-l-a-x: you don’t want to overdo it on your first day.

In this part of the world, the sun slips below the horizon soon after 6pm, and then it’s time for a Rum Punch, or whatever, before dinner. If you doze off, don’t worry – you’ll get a wake-up call, the moment the last ray leaves the sky. The bell-like Caribbean chorus, which lasts from dusk to dawn, comes courtesy of cute little tree frogs, so tiny that you could get seven or eight in the palm of your hand!

Dinner in the Great House is a delight, with courteous service and fine food in a beautiful setting - indoors or out - on the menu every night. An after-dinner drink in the lounge before you stroll back to your room makes a fitting final flourish. I like to end my day here with a star-gazing session: somehow they seem near enough to touch in the warm, black-velvet Caribbean sky.

Wouldn’t you rather stay somewhere really special?