Nevis’ sugar history offers sweet relaxation at Nisbet Plantation

Nisbet Plantation is a place where Valium goes to relax.

The Great House at Nisbet Plantation nestles at one end of Palm Tree Alley (Taylor)

NEVIS, November 28, 2015 – When trees turn to rainbows and shadows lengthen, it signals the time of year when the Caribbean beckons. Nisbet Plantation on the island of Nevis is the perfect place to escape the looming snows of winter.

Nisbet Plantation is a place where Valium goes to relax.

“On the island time forgot is a hotel you will remember forever,” is the way the Caribbean’s only historic plantation on the beach describes itself.

Nisbet's reminder of its glory days of sugar (Taylor)
Nisbet’s reminder of its glory days of sugar (Taylor)

If first impressions are lasting ones, then visitors are immediately drawn to Nisbet Plantation’s signature gateway to the Caribbean Sea known as “Palm Tree Alley.” The 30-acre tropical beachfront property uniquely combines a storied history with casual elegance.

Once immersed in the contagious ambience of Nevis, visitors soon wonder what all the fuss was about back home. Nevis’ sister island of St. Kitts,just two miles across the shallow channel called “The Narrows,” seems like Mardi Gras by comparison.

On Nevis the biggest event of the day will likely be a dominoes match between some of the locals in the capital city of Charlestown. Or spotting of a green vervet monkey roaming through town.

Meanwhile, at Nisbet Plantation, the toughest decision a guest may make all day is which rope hammock to choose at the beach.

Avenue of the Palms or Palm Tree Alley -- Nisbet's road to relaxation (Taylor)
Avenue of the Palms or Palm Tree Alley — Nisbet’s road to relaxation (Taylor)

Interlaced within its tranquil setting, Nisbet’s history hearkens to the romantic past of a more genteel era. Nevis is a gumdrop shaped island encompassing just 36-square miles. In the center rises Nevis Peak, the island’s dominant geographical feature. At 3,232-feet, the extinct volcano is almost always surrounded by clouds.

Nevis: Where great things come in small packages

Little wonder that the island’s 18th century plantation life embraced a legacy of cultured gentility, an ambiance that lives on at Nisbet Plantation.

Fanny Nisbet -- wife of Admiral Lord Nelson (wikipedia)
Fanny Nisbet — wife of Admiral Lord Nelson (wikipedia)

Remnants of the sugar cane industry that once made Nevis “Queen of the Caribees” can be found everywhere on the island, and Nisbet Plantation was one of the richest. When Admiral Lord Nelson, the famed British naval hero, visited Nevis, he met Frances Nisbet, the wealthy widowed wife of Dr. Nisbet, who owned the plantation.

Fanny, as she was affectionately known, fell in love with the captain and they were married at Saint John Figtree Parish Anglican Church in 1787.

Just 32-years earlier, in 1755, Alexander Hamilton, was born on Nevis. Hamilton spent much of his childhood there before becoming a founding father of the United States. Even today the Nevis Island Assembly Chambers are located in the site of Hamilton’s birth.

Christopher Columbus sighted Nevis in 1493 calling it “Our Lady of the Snows,” a reference to the perpetual cloud surrounding Nevis Peak.

A rare view of Nevis Peak without clouds at the summit (Taylor)
A rare view of Nevis Peak without clouds at the summit (Taylor)

More than a century later, in 1607, Captain John Smith visited Nevis during the voyage that eventually led to the founding of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the New World.

Electricity came to Nevis in 1954, but it was not available throughout the island until 1971. Even today, one will not see traffic lights or buildings constructed taller than a coconut palm tree.

Quiet street in Charlestown (Taylor)
Quiet street in Charlestown (Taylor)

For travelers enjoying Nisbet Plantation, Nevis’ history whets the appetite for island exploration and quiet dinner conversation. Dinner is served in the Great House, while breakfast and lunch are available on the beach where the Avenue of Palms gently yields to the embrace of the Caribbean Sea.

In 1950, Mary Pomeroy purchased the property and attempted, without success, to turn it into a coconut plantation. Eventually Pomeroy

Sign of a gentler time (Taylor)
Sign of a gentler time (Taylor)

refurbished some guest rooms and later added bungalow-style cottages leading down to the beach.

Nisbet Plantation features 36 rooms, of which 14 are superior rooms and 22 are suites in three categories. All rooms are elegantly appointed regional motifs and soft Caribbean pastels.

Rates, which include full a breakfast and dinner, as well as afternoon tea, vary according to season. Among the amenities are free Wi-Fi and 110-volt electrical current sockets, the same as the United States.

Resort facilities include a spa, tennis, fitness center and croquet lawn, plus three restaurants.


Nevis Sprint Distance Triathlon: 500 M swim, 31KM bike, 5KM run.

A favorite gathering spot is the great house which faces the rows of palm trees that lure guests to the beach. The Tea Patio overlooking Palm Tree Alley is especially enticing in late afternoon when the day eases into the amber glow of twilight and sea breezes waft through the palms.

The Great House at Nisbet Plantation greets guests with genteel charm (Taylor)
The Great House at Nisbet Plantation greets guests with genteel charm (Taylor)

Perhaps more than anything the subtle touches give Nisbet Plantation its charm. Guests are greeted by name when they arrive for breakfast. Forget television. No HDTV here. Nisbet compensates with a small 6 page newspaper of its own that provides all the news of the day. For junkies who just cannot break away, the wi-fi offers access to the outside world.

The clouds of Nevis Peak are a landmark (
The clouds of Nevis Peak are a landmark (

On the tiny hump-shaped paradise of Nevis, Nisbet Plantation is one of the few properties with direct access to the beach — reason enough to saunter down Palm Tree Alley to locate that perfect hammock for the serenity that awaits.

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About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.

He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (

His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.

Read more of Travels with Peabod and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News

Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod

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