Our visit to Nevis was in part hosted by the Nevis Tourism Authority. We were not financially compensated. The opinions expressed in this piece are based on our own experience.
Nevis is a small Caribbean island of subtle elegance and spectacular food. This serene and beautiful paradise, which is only home to 11,000 residents, is located in the West Indies region of the Caribbean. Nevis does not accept large cruise ships and limits its number of visitors, so you will find yourself surrounded by friendly locals and not by tourist hordes.
Nevis takes some effort to get to, and the islanders like it that way. You must fly into the larger and more commercial Saint Kitts. Then you can either take a 7-minute water taxi across the channel or a leisurely ferry that allows time to decompress.
Here are some suggestions for where to stay and what to eat on the stunning Caribbean island of Nevis.
Where To Stay On Nevis
Nevis has accommodations ranging from luxury resorts to simple motels, but a unique option is to stay at a former plantation redesigned as guest lodging. At a plantation estate, you can experience the distinctive culture and heritage of Nevis while also enjoying luxurious accommodations and friendly hospitality.
Here are some of our favorites for a truly memorable holiday.
The Hermitage is a Nevis plantation inn owned by the Lupinacci family of Philadelphia, who purchased the land and then restored and rebuilt the structures. Resting on a hillside overlooking the sea, the Hermitage has views that are truly breathtaking, especially from a hammock on your private balcony. This Nevisian way of life is so appealing that the Hermitage has recently expanded to offer private cottages as well.
With its lush surroundings and rustic charm, the Hermitage skips television but offers free wireless Internet in the rooms and main areas. Look for the unofficial goodwill ambassadors of Nevis, the green vervet monkeys that roam the grounds and the island. Once you’ve settled in, enjoy the inn’s signature rum punch, a 350-year-old recipe that will have you wondering why it took you so long to book a trip to this heavenly place.
Montpelier Plantation & Beach
If you prefer sophisticated but low-key luxury, then the Montpelier Plantation & Beach is the place for you. This Relais & Chateaux property offers intimate accommodations designed to seamlessly blend the indoors and outdoors into one intoxicating environment. Island breezes, panoramic views, elegant decor, Egyptian cotton linens, and other amenities gently lull you into deep relaxation during your stay.
A former sugar plantation, the Montpelier rests on 60 acres of lush tropical gardens and offers a sense of peace and seclusion. The dining here is exceptional, and for an unforgettable experience, reserve a private candlelit dinner inside the property’s converted sugar mill, the only such restaurant in the world.
With its gorgeous rooms, suites, and private villas, the Montpelier gives the discriminating traveler the best of everything Nevis has to offer.
Nisbet Plantation Beach Club
Beach lovers will find no better place to stay than the Nisbet Plantation Beach Club. The only historic plantation hotel situated directly on the beach, the Nisbet combines old-world charm with modern hospitality in a spectacular oceanfront setting.
The serene property hosts so many weddings that it has created its own Avenue of Palms, a grassy walkway lined with palm trees planted by delighted visitors who return year after year to see how much their trees have grown.
Bright, airy, and spacious, Nisbet rooms and suites offer the ultimate in privacy and comfort. The Nisbet's beachfront barbecue under the stars is a favorite with guests and locals alike, who sip rum punch, enjoy a surf-and-turf buffet, and dance under the stars to live music. Plus, the dreamy Caribbean sunsets here make memories all on their own.
Four Seasons Resort Nevis
While not a historic plantation property, the Four Seasons Resort Nevis is still spectacular, a place where every luxury has been brought together in one amazing place. Whether you want to build and fly your own kite, hit eco-bio golf balls into the ocean (they turn into fish food within 72 hours!), take an afternoon sail, or don a wetsuit and dive with a chef and Nevisian expert for your own lobster dinner, the Four Seasons has you covered.
The world-class accommodations range from spacious guest rooms and suites to residences, villas, and estates. Emphasizing wellness, the Four Seasons Spa offers signature Nevisian massages, ocean-breeze treatments, Caribbean-vibe ceremonies, and other unique services to rejuvenate body and spirit. The Four Seasons is a sanctuary full of Caribbean charm.
Where To Eat On Nevis
Nevis is a seafood lover’s heaven. Mahi-mahi, Caribbean spiny lobster, grouper, and wahoo are locally caught and served up fresh. Tropical fruits and vegetables are literally waiting to be enjoyed.
Here are some of our favorite local restaurants worth visiting.
Lime Beach Bar
Lime Beach Bar, located on Pinney’s Beach, is a popular spot. Start with some pumpkin fritters and tangy mango salsa paired with a Caribbean lager brewed in nearby Trinidad and Tobago. Grouper comes fresh from the nearby sea, and we had it grilled with a buttery citrus marinade. We also had heavenly lobster grilled and served with melted butter, salad, and fries.
The atmosphere at Lime Beach, as in Nevis in general, is casual, comfortable, and very friendly.
Sunshine’s Beach Bar & Grill
Sunshine’s Beach Bar & Grill is Lime Beach Bar’s next-door neighbor. Sunshine himself is a local celebrity hailing from Nevis’s sister island Saint Kitts; he brought his love for reggae music and collection of college flags to Nevis.
Sunshine’s fresh grilled mahi-mahi sandwich and lobster salad are mouthwatering. Also known for his barbecue chicken and baby back ribs, Sunshine hosts bonfires on the beach that draw folks from all over the island. Sunshine’s rum punch, the Killer Bee, is great to enjoy while watching the waves.
Chrishi Beach Club
Nevis is an island paradise, so we understand why Chrishi Beach Club owner Hedda Wienpahl, after nine visits to the island, called her real-estate agent, grabbed her family, and traded her Norwegian roots for the sandy tropical shores of Nevis.
Catering to visitors from the U.S. and UK, Chrishi Beach Club offers a Euro-cafe vibe with burgers, pastas, sandwiches, and veggie dishes with a side of crystal blue sea. The English Surprise fish and chips plate is a crowd-pleaser, and the Grouper Scouper sandwich is a local favorite. Dessert lovers will be happy with the homemade brownies and carrot cake.
Nevis is famous for its delightfully eclectic nature, and nowhere is that vibe more apparent than at Gillian Smith’s Bananas Bistro. A self-described ex-can-can dancer, Smith landed on Nevis on her way to South Africa. Discovering an old rum shop in need of care, she turned it into a bistro. The Nevisians loved her recipes so much that she decided to stay.
Bananas combines island eclectic with romantic chic and outstanding cuisine. Local seafood gets the royal treatment in dishes such as the rich and satisfying lobster fettuccine alfredo. Dishes range from guava barbecue pork to gnocchi in portobello mushroom sauce, so carnivores and vegetarians alike will find something delicious. A popular dessert is the light and fluffy coconut cake.
West Indian Buffet At The Hermitage
A unique dining experience we have to mention is the traditional pig roast and West Indian Buffet held at the Hermitage on Wednesdays. This event is worth attending whether you stay at the Hermitage or not.
Locally raised pig is roasted over Acacia coals for 7 hours, and the staff members carefully prepare traditional West Indian dishes from generations-old recipes. The ample buffet includes dishes such as beef short ribs, barbecued chicken, Caribbean rice and beans, fritters, sweet potatoes, breadfruit, vegetable medleys, and more.
Diners start out with conversation and rum punch and finish with mango crumble or rum-soaked bread pudding. The companionship and ambience are as satisfying as the food.
Charlestown Public Market
If you have a chance, visit the small but lively Charlestown Public Market, where you will find unusual local treats like starfruit, sugar apple, and soursop. And don’t be surprised to find handcrafted fruity wines there, too. After all, Nevis has a ton of character and characters, all worth discovering.