The West Indies just sounds exotic. You’ve heard that honeymooners love the vibe on Nevis, a verdant, timeless island, which feels like the Caribbean of bygone days. You’ve seen Hamilton on Broadway. You’d managed to get tickets via a friend. That’s the night you proposed to her. That’s what made you choose this island over all the others in the Caribbean. At the show, you first hear about Nevis. This is where Alexander Hamilton grew up. He saw the slave trade in real time. You love that his life so moved him that he never owned slaves. That fascinates you both. He’s your hero. Here, you will immerse yourself in a place unquestionably enlivened by its African heritage; a heritage that includes a painful past of colonization and slavery, but that is superseded by a culturally rich and intriguing indigenous history.
Free from traffic lights, with roadways organized by the occasional roundabout, Nevis gets its name from its dormant volcano, christened by early Spanish settlers as “nieve,” because they thought the clouds surrounding its soaring peak looked like a circle of snow. Undeveloped, still sleepy and slow paced, flower and fruit tree rich, with a handful of old-fashioned hamlets and scores of beautiful beaches, the island appears to have more donkeys, crowing roosters and monkeys than cars..
You plan your stay at Montpelier Plantation, part of Relais & Chateux, a favorite of celebrities. (Think: Princess Diana, who loved to relax here with her boys when they were young.) The understated resort, which recently celebrated its 50th birthday, hovers atop a hill, spread across 60-acres of tropical forest. A 60-foot pool anchors the property, which also holds an 18th-century sugar mill, now used as a restaurant. Dotting the lawn and leafy gardens, 19 cottages face the view, each with an inviting porch.
You toast your arrival at the alfresco bar, set beside the shimmering pool. There, head bartender Kaddy holds court, donning his signature blue shirt and white pants. He mixes you a welcome drink, one of his signature rum punches. Later, you’ll yoga, have a spa treatment, bike to the beach or just read that long-awaited book in a rocking chair. Tomorrow, you have plans to hike to the top of the dormant volcano, take a boat ride, dine by moonlight and enjoy a cooking course. One thing, you know you never want to miss is the complimentary evening happy hour with owner Muffin Hoffman and other guests.
Finally, you present your surprise for the coup de gras. You plan the grand finale for this honeymoon. Together, you visit the home where Hamilton grew up. She’s so overwhelmed that she gets teary. You embrace. Nevis forever. Together, you love this island even more. Together you begin humming some songs, speaking some Hamilton-ese: “There’s a million things I haven’t done, just you wait.” You know you’re coming back. Montpelier Plantation will have your cottage waiting.
How To Make the Rum Punch: