Sunday,  August 9, 2020  5:02 pm

Nature meets luxury in Nevis

Nature meets luxury in Nevis
Photo courtesy of Nevis Tourism Authority
Blake Wolfe

Blake Wolfe is an award-winning journalist and editor, who joined PAX after nearly 10 years in Canada’s newspaper industry. In addition to PAX, his work has been featured in publications such as the Metroland Media group of newspapers and the Toronto Sun.

Located just to the southwest of St. Kitts, neighbouring Nevis is a breath of fresh air for visitors seeking a different side of the Caribbean.

With Nevis experiencing an increase in what the Nevis Tourism Authority describes as “up-market tourism,” it’s a clear sign that the island is incorporating more of its natural attributes into the luxury travel sector – with interest in Nevis heating up, what better time to send discerning clients to this Caribbean gem?

Getting natural

A lush volcanic island, Nevis is an ecotourism dream come true.

A sprawling rainforest carpets the sides of Nevis Peak, providing a natural habitat for monkeys and tropical birds, while creating some spectacular hiking and mountain biking trails in the process. To preserve this natural heritage, Nevis has outlawed construction beyond one thousand feet above sea level.

The shoreline and surrounding waters are similarly treasured in Nevis. All beaches in Nevis are open to the public and in addition to human visitors, the island welcomes annual visits by nesting sea turtles.

No fast food here! Nevis is all about authentic local food (Photo courtesy of Nevis Tourism Authority)

What’s cooking?

In Nevis, local food is not only a special treat for visitors to enjoy, it’s also a philosophy for full-time Nevisians: with no fast-food chains to speak of, Nevis’ culinary scene is focused on the authentic and rustic flavours of beach bars and village restaurants, where aspiring chefs learn alongside their experienced mentors all too happy to teach the secrets of preparing fresh seafood and savoury barbecue.

Every July, the Nevis Mango and Food Festival draws discerning foodies and celebrity chefs – this year’s edition welcomed Iron Chef UK’s Chef Judy Joo – for a weekend of all things culinary, centred around the more than 40 varieties of mango found throughout the island.

The annual celebration culminates in the Nevisian Chefs Mango Feast, where participating chefs incorporate the festival’s namesake crop into their best dishes.

Step back in time at the Alexander Hamilton House, the birthplace of U.S. Founding Father – and subject of a current hit musical – Alexander Hamilton (Photo courtesy of Nevis Tourism Authority)Historic ties

Nevis also has a unique tie to U.S. history, as Alexander Hamilton – one of the U.S.’ Founding Fathers and subject of the eponymous Broadway musical – was born in Charlestown and spent his early years in Nevis.

The Hamilton House Museum is a reconstructed historic building built on the site of Hamilton’s purported childhood home, which also houses the Nevis Island Assembly on its upper floors.

The majority of Nevis’ accommodations are villas or small inns (Photo courtesy of Nevis Tourism Authority)

Where to stay

Without the sprawling all-inclusive complexes of other Caribbean destinations, many of Nevis’ accommodations are either villas or small inns, such as the Mount Nevis Hotel or Golden Rock Inn.

Another option for travellers is the Four Seasons Resort Nevis, which brings the world-renowned chain’s brand of five-star luxury to the destination’s shores.

Getting there

Travellers looking to get natural in Nevis will have to either catch a connecting flight or ferry from St. Kitts; Air Canada offers direct service from Toronto to St. Kitts.

If connecting by sea, travellers should know that the Seabridge ferry docks at Cades Bay on the northwestern shore of the island, while on-demand water taxis from St. Kitts are typically scheduled to arrive at Oualie Beach, approximately two kilometres to the north.

Alternately, travellers can also reach Nevis by air from Antigua aboard regional airlines including LIAT and Winair.

Good to know

  • While the official currency in Nevis is the East Caribbean (EC) dollar, most stores and businesses also accept US dollars; however, if using U.S. currency, travellers are advised that only paper bills are accepted and change will be given in EC.
  • Canadians banking with the Bank of Nova Scotia are in luck, as the bank has both physical locations and 24-hour ATMs in Nevis.
  • It’s common practice in Nevis to greet total strangers with a friendly “good morning” or “good evening” depending on the time of day.

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