The Inns of Nevis: Nisbet Island Plantation

Nisbet Island Plantation ranks at the top of my list of favorite hotels. With only 36 cottage-style rooms, it feels less like a hotel and more like a beach house that you get to share with friends for the week. I say friends, instead of staff, because that’s what they felt like by the time we checked out of the Scarborough suite. They know you by your first name and as your stay progresses, begin to know your preferences. What you like to eat, what you take in your coffee and if you’re prone to accidents and mishaps, (as I am) which staff member has the best first-aid cream in her handbag. (Note: No-See-Ums, as I was told, is not the scientific name for the swarm of stinging insects I walked into on a remote beach during an off-the-beaten path excursion. Trust me. I googled. Still don’t know what those little buggers were.) As I sit writing this, I’m missing Roslyn, Carol, Violet…

Besides the obvious aspects of the property, (the views, the ocean breeze and the warm sand) what I loved most, besides my new friend Roslyn Jeffers, was our nightly walk up to the Great House for dinner. (Minus one special evening, which I will share later.) I have been known to lament the demise of semi-formality and the appropriateness of dressing for the occasion at hand. Pajamas in the airport? Excuse me, no. Jeans or short shorts at a beautiful dinner in the evening? Negative.  It is not snobbery, but a sincere desire to observe special moments in life with the excitement and reverence they deserve. A dress code is one rule I will happily oblige and the Great House restaurant gave me an excuse to dress for dinner each night. The food and service were lovely and it was a good refresher course in understanding place settings. Let’s be honest. Any more than three utensils at a place setting and things get a bit overwhelming. I maintain that the best vanilla ice cream on the planet is served in the Great House.

The weekly BBQ on the beach is a highlight, not just for Nisbet guests, but for locals as well. Patterson, the maitre’d  for the past twenty-five years, greets you with wine, rum punch or for the non-drinkers, an intoxicating in its own way, fruit punch. Local artisans sell their crafts during the first hour, then everyone moves into Coconuts for dinner. I tend to get excited about a lot of things, which may or may not sometimes lead to overstatement, but when I say I had some of the best grilled fish I’ve ever had in  my life, I mean I had some of the best grilled fish I’ve ever had in my life. (The chefs at Nisbet Island Plantation are masters of their craft.) Meanwhile, a Caribbean band plays into the night and let me tell you, you haven’t lived until you’ve heard a reggae version of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”

There was no need to plan anything in advance, really, before arriving besides our plane tickets and hotel reservations. We quickly realized that if we wanted to book an activity, last-minute or not, no problem! Whether it is a hike, a treatment at The Palm Spa on the property, a trip into Charlestown, a bike ride around the island or a dinner, all one has to do is ask and seemingly magically, Calvin Klein (our taxi driver for almost every ride we took) will be  ready and waiting to take you to your destination, as he was for us. My only taxi regret was that we didn’t get to hop a ride with Calvin’s fellow driver Marlon Brando. Not kidding. (Rumor has it that Marlon grew up with a movie-loving mother next door to a theater.) So let me tell you about that time I saw Elvis in the West Indies…

Nisbet Island Plantation is an authentic West Indies experience. Open the shutters at night and the ocean breeze will lull you into believing that you’re sleeping under the stars. Keep your eyes open during the day and you may just see a monkey or two sitting on the side of the road. Keep your heart open and you may just never leave.





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3 Comments on “The Inns of Nevis: Nisbet Island Plantation

  1. Your pictures and writing have transported me. I could look at those pictures all day long. The plantation sounds charming and the type of place we should all visit at least once in a lifetime.

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