My favorite memories of the Montpelier Plantation and Beach in Nevis, of Nevis and Saint Kitts, include the early morning nature sounds of dogs barking, donkeys braying, and doves cooing in the distance. I enjoyed them most while swimming or when I gazed at the sunrise views of Saddle Hill and the ocean from the covered porch behind my room. At that hour, when the rays of the sun were gentle, before many guests had risen from their beds and the staff had arrived, I had the entire pool area to myself.
A last minute addition to my itinerary in Nevis turned into an unexpected delight at the lush and lovingly maintained The Botanical Gardens of Nevis. The 6.1 acre property in a residential area of the small Caribbean island housed plant nurseries, fruit orchards, Orchid Terraces, a Rainforest Conservatory modeled after the Palm House of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew as well as Cactus, Palm, and Bamboo gardens. The private estate was open to the public for daytime visits and special events.
Unlike many Caribbean destinations, Nevis, a 36 square mile corner of serenity in the country of Saint Kitts and Nevis in the Leeward Islands, housed no duty free shopping boutiques (nor much shopping to speak of), casinos or fast food eateries. Only small cruise ships visited its shores. Its 12,400 residents share their homeland with 30,000 annual visitors who find refuge from the fast pace of their lives in the island’s three luxury hotels and sixty luxury rental homes, most of which are inland.