BY TARITA HUTCHINSON
If you are looking for a tropical destination that exudes natural beauty and old world charm, Nevis could be your ideal spot for a relaxing break.
Located in the Leeward Islands where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean, Nevis is the sister Island to St Kitts and together they form the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, an independent sovereign state, member of the United Nations and the British Commonwealth.
The decent after a three hour plane ride from Miami across the Caribbean and into Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport, just northeast of the capital Basseterre in St Kitts provides a majestic view of both islands.
Customs is a quick experience and in my case there was a van waiting to transport me to the water taxi jetty for my ride across the Narrows to Nevis. A couple of complimentary beers and the local soda “Ting” with some of my fellow travellers made the twenty minute ride pass quickly.
Landing at the jetty in Nevis felt like coming home. While travelling you tend to be on your guard most of the time and so it was a pleasant experience to hop onto the dock at Oualie Beach and see my colleague Elridge Glasford standing there smiling amongst many other friendly and happy locals coming to meet family and friends.
I stayed at Nisbet Plantation Beach Club on the north side of the island, about fifteen minutes from Charlestown. Nevis has a good selection of Airbnb and hotel accommodation to suit most travellers including a luxurious Four Seasons Resort with it’s own golf course.
I was able to rent a car which was great for some after-hours touring. By day I was meeting with our Nevis trustees and company registrations team, bankers, solicitors and other industry participants in the central town district of Charlestown, a compact and picturesque area with beautiful cobbled streets and stone buildings.
The post colonial modernity is something of a juxtaposition against the rich history of the island. First settled over 3,000 years ago the pre-European inhabitants “Kalinago,” named the island Oualie “land of beautiful waters.” Christopher Columbus visited in 1493 and European settlors made the island home in the 1600’s.
Centuries of colonisation ensued with the English dominating the economic and social fabric of the tiny island and today there remains the vestiges of British influence with governance based on the Westminster Parliamentary system, reasonable infrastructure, a large bureaucracy and a healthy enjoyment of sports such as cricket, netball and football.
My favourite memories are many – from relaxing in the Greathouse at Nisbett Plantation with its walls adorned with Prince Charles, Fannie Nisbett and Lord Horatio Nelson, to touring through the beautiful scenery, palm walks, flora and fauna.
We had wonderful meals with beautiful service at Nisbet Plantation Greathouse and Montpelier Plantation. Elridge tells me Montpelier is where Princess Diana came to find peace and comfort when she divorced Charles.
We enjoyed some great Caribbean music and the best fish tacos I have ever had at Patterson’s. I had to fulfil requests bring back a few bottles of “killer bee” the signature cocktail of Sunshine’s Bar Lounge & Grill which is a Nevis institution for both locals and tourists. The restaurant is adorned with world flags, license plates and pictures of celebrity guests all enjoying their time at Sunshine’s.
A week in Nevis isn’t long enough to visit all the beautiful beaches and walk through the rainforests, see the waterfalls and soak up it’s natural beauty and geothermal springs. We have to return and I hope next time we do many of you can join us for our bi-annual Southpac Trust Offshore Planning Institute Conference to be held in Nevis in May 2019.