With colonial cottages perched on windswept shores, and intimate tea parlours filled with patois and pastries, Nisbet Plantation Nevis delivers the fantasy of a laid-back leisure colony by the sea. The resort scored a spot on Condé Nast Traveler's prestigious Gold List 2012, as well as a ranking among the magazine's top choices in the Caribbean for its new full-service spa. To get with the island flow, spa director Valencia Griffin recommends the Noni Body Wrap, a treatment using a fruit grown on Nevis. She tells me the noni plant has been used for generations throughout the tropics for its remarkable healing potency. To begin, she applies a noni herbal elixir gel over my body, immediately cooling me off from the midday sun. She then swaddles me in a wrap and, once I'm all tucked in, treats me to a toe-tingling scalp massage. After quickly showering off the gel, I literally leap back onto the table, eagerly anticipating the next stage of the treatment: a warm coconut milk massage. And once she moves from my hamstrings to my calves, I can see why the pro cyclists on the island keep her number close. Her touch is thorough, deep and restorative. The perfect way to start a Nevis stay.
This natural anti-inflammatory is highly effective in calming sunburn-induced redness. It's used by fire dancers to soothe their feet from burns, and it also naturally tightens slack skin.
The Nisbet Plantation has an illustrious past (the 1778 Great House is the ancestral home of Fanny Nisbet, who wed British naval hero Horatio Nelson here) and it's popular with the likes of Prince Charles, who enjoyed the property as a bachelor. The spa offers high-integrity treatments by Epicuren and La Natura in a low-key, hushed atmosphere. After your treatment, the complete unwind continues as you're invited to sip tea or Champagne on a private patio under the swaying palm trees. While Nisbet is best known as a place to escape and do nothing, the concierge team happily arranges nearby golf, kayaking, deep-sea fishing, sailing, horseback riding or mountain biking for guests who wish to explore the volcanic island.
Nisbet Plantation in St. James Parish, Nevis, West Indies; 1-800-742-6008; nisbetplantation.com; $117 for 60 minutes.
Special to The Globe and Mail