Our trip to Nisbet Plantation was planned on exactly one day’s notice – since a planned trip to Cape Santa Maria on Long Island in the Bahamas had to be called off due to Hurricane Paloma (which never materialized as a threat to Long Island, but nevertheless wiped out our plans). The travails we endured in reaching Nevis are another long, tedious story filled with frustration, but we finally arrived in Nevis well after dark after an unplanned detour through St. Kitts and a late ferry ride.
Less vexing than our airline issues, but also of mild concern, was the fact that we never got confirmation of our reservation at Nisbet, which I’d booked with the US reservation office. Wanting to make sure we were still expected, I called the resort before arrival – which had no record of our impending arrival. That was quickly rectified, and for our minimal trouble, we were upgraded to an oceanfront “upper premier junior suite.” In contrast to our airline’s prevarication, Nisbet simply fixed it.
Truly, once we finally arrived in Nevis, everything went smoothly. Upon arrival at Nisbet, our bags were spirited away while we were handed rum punch (in real glasses) for the long walk to our suite. That set the tone for the rest of our stay.
Dinner (as well as breakfast) is included in the Nisbet room rate, but it is no slapdash buffet affair. After our first night, when we introduced ourselves to maitre d' Patterson (or Violet), we were greeted by name and escorted to our table – we chose every night to dine on the screened porch. A menu was presented, featuring 4-5 choices each for appetizers, entrees, and dessert; every evening included at least on Nevisian or West Indian choice. Options included venison, veal, boar, duck, steak, escargot, lamb, grouper, snapper, with such West Indian favorites as roti, pepper pot and pumpkin soup. This was truly fine dining, and even if meals hadn’t been included, we would have hated to miss a single night of Chef Tony’s superb cooking. Wine and alcoholic beverages were a la carte, and the wine list offered many fine (if somewhat safe) choices. Having spent our last Caribbean trip in Anguilla and Grand Case, St. Martin – which are gastronomic capitals – we found Nisbet to compare favorably.
The next morning, we were up with the sun and finally got our first daylight look at Nisbet Plantation. It’s truly lovely. Our suite was a high-ceilinged space with walls painted in my favorite kiwi green. The bed is made up in luscious silky sheeting, and the coral-painted bath is expansive, with granite and porcelain appointments. We had a sitting area and small kitchen/bar area, as well as louvered french doors giving out to a balcony. All of the windows were louvered, and we cranked them open and went without AC all week (in fact, at night, the breeze was steady enough to require us to cover up most nights).
From our balcony, we had a view of the luxuriant lawns and rows of tall coconut and date palms. Beyond the palms, the beach (considered by many the nicest on Nevis) and the sea, breaking on the reef beyond. The night sounds were the constant roar of the sea, the wind clattering in the palms, and the symphony of tree frogs (which we learned were a different species than the famed coqui of Puerto Rico, but no less beloved by me). In the other direction towered Nevis Peak, the top of it often wreathed in clouds, a nearly perfect volcanic cone.
We often made ourselves comfortable on the palm-studded beach, near a palapa. For all we knew, the resort may have been full during our visit, but there were always beach loungers available, and they were so discretely placed that we never felt crowded. None of the jockeying for position for which some larger resorts are justly infamous.
Nisbet’s Great House crowns a gently sloping hill, through an alley of palms. Afternoon tea was served there every day, but we never availed ourselves of it, preferring our own company and slightly stronger beverages on our balcony. Likewise, we didn’t take advantage of the spa, the croquet lawn, the tennis court, etc. We were in the Caribbean for beach time and some mild exploration, which we’d do with the rental car we’d arranged for the rest of the week.
Although Nisbet’s beach is among the best on Nevis, that doesn’t say all that much. The other major beaches – Oualie and Pinney’s – are grey sand and look to have lost a lot of shoreside vegetation to Hurricane Omar. Nisbet’s beach is on the less-protected northern tip of Nevis, has salt-and-pepper (mostly salt) sand, and a good bit of vegetation on the bottom which washes up on shore, but is meticulously groomed every morning. There are several jetties, a lot of wave action, and a pebbly entry into the water. I enjoyed the water, but couldn’t see my toes on the bottom. The beachfront seems to have been untouched by the hurricane, and is studded with healthy palms trees. The constant breeze keeps the no-see-ums and most of the mosquitos away. A beachfront bar and restaurant, which are open all day til 5-ish, and on Thursday night for the famous Nisbet barbecue, round out the scene.
Nisbet’s most distinguishing feature is its staff. If your shoulders haven’t already lost their workday tension by the time you arrive on the island, any last vestige of it is gone after your first interaction with a staff member. After your first encounter, most of them greet you by name and appear to be genuinely interested in your experience. They also seem to be clairvoyant, since your room is magically cleaned or turned down or supplied with ice without your ever being aware of it. And the generosity of spirit at Nisbet doesn’t appear to be limited to resort guests, as the famous Thursday barbecue demonstrates. At the barbecue, the crowd was large – and we recognized people from our travels, including visitors and Nevis residents alike – some who came for dinner, and some who came (and were welcomed) for drinks and dancing with the band.
When we’re not sailing, my husband and I choose our Caribbean destinations carefully so as to get the combination of attractive environment and welcoming people that we seek. Although we had little time to prepare for our Nevis journey, in choosing Nisbet Plantation, we did just fine.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nisbet is the Caribbean's only luxury plantation inn located on the beach. This intimate hideaway is one of the Caribbean's Top 10 Most Romantic Hotels and the ancestral home of Fanny Nisbet, the ever-faithful wife of British naval hero Admiral Horatio Nelson. A historic resort with only 36 rooms spread over 30 lush beachfront acres. Enjoy impeccable service that has helped Nisbet Plantation be recognized as one of the top Caribbean hotels. Vacation at a top Caribbean hotel on the island time forgot. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Travelocity, Booking.com, Expedia, Orbitz, Cheap Tickets, Splendia, Despegar.com, Hotels.com, Priceline and Jetsetter so you can book your Nisbet Plantation Beach Club reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Nisbet Plantation Beach Club Hotel Nevis
- Nisbet Plantation Beach Hotel
- Nisbet Plantation Beach Resort
- Nisbet Plantation Nevis
- Nisbet Plantation Beach Club Nevis, St. Kitts And Nevis