Nevis is hot, and not just because Alexander Hamilton, a founding father of the United States and the subject of NYC’s hottest Broadway show, Hamilton, was born here. And not even because Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family visited this Caribbean island on a recent vacation. What makes Nevis hot is the newly renovated over-the-top hideaway where Trudeau stayed: Paradise Beach Villas, the only beachfront villa resort on the island. Tucked away amidst palm trees and fragrant bougainvillea, the seven exclusive villas are just footsteps from the powdery white-sand beach.
Though you can fly directly to Nevis, there are more flights to St. Kitts. A driver can be arranged (for an additional fee) to escort you from the airport to the dock for a 10-minute water-taxi ride to Nevis. Upon arrival at Paradise Beach Villas, the concierge and your butler will greet you with an ice-cold rum punch. Many guests find no reason to leave their villa’s terrace, which has enough privacy to swim, dine and sunbathe in the buff. Enjoy looking out at the endless sea or turn around and gape at the soaring view of Nevis Peak volcano.
IF I COULD CHANGE ONE THING
The sliding glass-panelled doors leading to the private terrace are rather difficult. First, you pull the door handle halfway down. Next, pull the handle out toward you so the top half of the door opens on an angle. Finally, pull the handle down the rest of the way, then pull it out to guide the door onto the track – only then will the door slide open.
Each villa comes with some exercise equipment (just in case) and, even better, Hermès amenities that are replaced each morning, even if barely used.
ROOM WITH A VIEW
While all the rooms have ocean-facing views, the four-bedroom, 3,400-square foot Villa No. 7 is best because it’s closest to the beach. Step out onto your terrace, open your back gate, and walk 90 seconds before your bare feet touch the sand.
WHOM YOU’LL MEET
It’s possible you might not meet anyone because often you may be the only one on this private white-sand beach (except maybe the attentive beach-bar attendant). But head to the thatched-roof Tiki beach bar made from 1,000 recycled Heineken bottles, and you will probably be sipping a rum cocktail next to well-heeled and jet-setting travellers like yourself.
EAT IN OR EAT OUT?
Restaurants are plentiful on Nevis, just a taxi ride away – but why leave? The resort brings the restaurant to you. On request, the chef assigned to your villa will arrive with all the ingredients needed to cook breakfast or dinner as your butler sets an elegant table. Try chef Paulette’s grilled local lobster or the traditional Nevisian breakfast, which is normally served at festivals and holidays: steaming puffy Johnny cakes fresh off the griddle, dry saltfish mixed with savoury spices, plantain, boiled eggs, steamed breadfruit and freshly mixed soursop juice. Love the juice? She’ll mix up a full pitcher-full and leave it in your fridge.
Want to cook yourself? Before you fly in, you’ll receive a five-page provision list and your kitchen will be fully stocked when you arrive. Then you’ll be able to dine quietly al fresco, watching the sun set over the sea or beneath stars as big as cluster bombs.
Paradise Beach Resort Nevis, St Thomas Parish, paradisebeachnevis.com; 7 villas starting at $876 (U.S.) a night, meals not included.
The writer was a guest of the resort.