Wesley Francis - Why I Fell In Love With Nevis

Wesley Francis
Why I Fell In Love With Nevis

Nevis: For the Soul

As I exited the shuttle van at the beach where the water taxi was waiting to transport us over to Nevis, I noticed the sun’s reflection on the water was like someone had sprinkled diamonds all across the azure blue sea. It was midday and the shimmer was blinding yet welcoming. The water taxi would take my group from St. Kitts over to Nevis; a six or seven minute ride that was just long enough to quench your thirst with the island’s famous refreshment: Ting (a sparkling grapefruit beverage).

A breathtaking view of Nevis Peak provides us with a grand welcome as we draw nearer to this island oasis. Have your phone or your camera ready. On this day, the top of the peak is not visible (it is hidden in the clouds) yet her beauty is striking nonetheless.

I first visited Nevis in October of 2019. I love to visit “off the beaten” path islands and I was unsure of what to expect here. What I found was a hidden gem and new friend. Nevis is the perfect place to escape and get off of the grid. Here are the top five reasons why Nevis stole my heart.

1. Accessibility
I reside in New York City and Nevis is pretty easy to reach from just about any state in the continental United States. Let’s face it; as a busy New Yorker (that also happens to be a wife, mother, teacher and group travel planner) I typically want my travels to be quick and easy. Prior to Covid, daily flights from Miami to St. Kitts would get you there on a whim. Of course, once you are in St. Kitts you’ll have to take the water taxi (or ferry) over to Nevis though that’s the beauty of getting there. Everything immediately slows down and it becomes a feeling of appreciation. The water taxi experience truly sets the tone and as you approach the island you know you’re about to be somewhere very special.

2. Off the Grid Atmosphere
Nevis has a plethora of boutique hotels and accommodations (you won’t find one of those mega all-inclusive resorts here). Indulge in exotic luxury at the Four Seasons or kickback and meet your new family at the Hermitage Plantation, a quaint collection of charming cottages dedicated to providing you with a unique island experience. My personal favorite is Montpelier Plantation and Beach. These villas each have their own little porches with spectacular views of lush hills and valleys off in the distance. It is the perfect place to reset and reassess your mind and body. There’s nothing like starting your day with a warm cup of tea on your porch overlooking the beauty of Queen Nevis. I was truly looking forward to being back on the island last month to reinvigorate my spirit, however, God had other plans with this pandemic. I look forward to my return to sweet and shy Nevis.

3. Food
I’m a picky eater. I am. However, I am also a foodie. I have had some of the best meals while in Nevis. Food is definitely the way to my heart and Nevis has the top spot. A culinary paradise to say the least. I first fell in love with the curry chicken and mango chutney at Montpelier Plantation. Home-cooked Nevisian cuisine was devoured at Yubrenta’s. Breakfast at the Four Seasons awaken my senses with the Coconut French Toast with Dulce de Leche Sauce. The big family dinner featuring the weekly roast pig at the Hermitage Plantation. The ribs at Sunshine’s Bar and Grill. Oh, and did I mention the trendy Chrishi Beach Club? Spend a day here lounging on the beach and filling your belly with some good grub. I could go on. I had actually planned to return for the Mango Festival where every dish must include one of the forty plus types of mangoes that grow on the island. Yes, Nevis is a foodie haven.

4. Safety
I’ll let you in on a little secret: I have never taken a solo trip. I’ve been on group trips where I traveled alone but have never been on a trip exclusively by myself. I felt comfort on the island of Nevis. I felt extremely safe. Nevis will certainly be my first solo experience, it is already in the plans. The intimacy of each hotel and resort on the island provides a strong sense of security. I always tell people: if your mom called the hotel looking for you, the person answering the phone will know who you are. The feeling is familial here, it is something that isn’t easily felt or found in my past travels. As a woman it is extremely important for me to feel safe while traveling.
I’ve come to call Nevis Peak the friend that never leaves your side; she is visible from just about everywhere on the island. Each day that I traveled around the island I would look up to see if I’d see her and she was right there. By my side. I love that.

5. Hospitality
This last point goes hand in hand with #4. Nevisians are some of the most friendliest and welcoming people. Not only do you feel at home but you are treated like family and most importantly, it’s genuine. It is not common to travel and feel like you are cared for amongst those you do not know. I haven’t been to many (if any!) places like that which is why I always consider Nevis an amazing destination for that first time solo traveler. You are truly in good hands, honestly and truly.

When we think of the Caribbean we (to be added) most automatically think of the beach, blue water and a pina colada, but guess what? Nevis is so much more than that. Sure, there are some beautiful beaches (check out Pinney’s Beach) and make sure you get a Killer Bee at Sunshine’s (the island’s version of a rum punch) but besides getting in touch with yourself and nature, Nevis is rich in history. Take a walk through Charlestown and visit the Alexander Hamilton House (If you’ve seen the popular Broadway show, you already know Mr. Hamilton was born in the Caribbean - Nevis to be exact!). There is so, so, so much to take in here on this kind little island.
Nevis provides an experience unlike any other island in the Caribbean (and I’ve been to many). Bring along a journal to record your feelings and experiences because it will transform you. Then return home with the strongest sense of clarity.

Live your best life in Nevis. I did.

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