Villa to Rent: This Side of Paradiso
ONE TO WATCH Besides Nevis' mahoganied plantation inns and its always reliable Four Seasons, there's Villa Paradiso, a showplace of contemporary Asian-inspired design. In fact, it's really three villas, each with four bedrooms, all created by New York designer Adam Tihany. Every detail is superb—the thatched-roof of the dining terrace, the antique Balinese furniture, the Persian carpets, even the just-right arrangement of baskets and wood bowls. And Tihany is only getting started: The development will eventually include three more villas and a restaurant on the beach (the slightly lonely, unfinished quality of the property is its only shortcoming for now). Paulette Fredericks, the former chef at Nisbet Plantation, makes all the meals. And they're worth staying in for, particularly the lobster bruschetta, chicken rôti, and the mixed salad with pawpaw-and-roasted-lemon dressing. Rates, $10,500 a week, includes staff; chef and meals are additional. $ At Pinney's Beach, St. Thomas Parish; 212-327-4000; www.villaparadisonevis.com
For the best island guide, call Nevis' most capable driver, PHILLIP MORTON (869-663-5055). This guy knows his island, its culture, history, hot spots—and he has a sense of humor.
Grabbing Lunch: Lobster Salad to Remember
You can't do much better at lunch on Nevis than a terrace table at Golden Rock Plantation Inn. The lobster salad is one of the best you'll have—big tender chunks in a perfect mayonnaise, served on sourdough bread. Top-notch service and a great wine list, too. Lunch, $45. In Gingerland; 869-469-3346.
Hot Property: Plantation Style With a Twist
ONE TO WATCH Bravo to Nevis' Montpelier Plantation Inn, which has recently changed ownership and been stunningly redecorated. The tired old traditional Colonial look has been dusted off, chintz has been replaced with camel and coral linen and toile, and the whole place has been given a much-needed blast of minimalist chic. The 17 rooms, most of which have fourposter beds (not all are air-conditioned, so you'll need to request it), are done in whites and pastels, with dark-wood furniture, tile floors, and butter-colored linens. Not that this very private hotel on a gentle green mountainside didn't have the basic goods. The kitchen, fresh-water pool, private beach outfitted with chaises, umbrellas, and the like, are among the best on the island. Rooms, $430-$505. At Morning Star Village; 869-469-3462; www.montpeliernevis.com.
Spa Report: Beyond Bliss
One of the most popular spots in the Caribbean, the Four Seasons Resort Nevis has further gilded its own lily with the addition of a new spa. The large multi-bungalowed treatment area, set off from the guestrooms and surrounded by gardens, offers first-rate pampering: skin buffing with shea butter, beachside massage, and hydrotherapy. Our own special favorites are the mango-sea-salt exfoliation and heavenly hot-stone massage by masseur Bill Hart. Treatments, $110-$320. Rooms, $745-$4,530. At Pinney's Beach, St. Thomas Parish; 800-332-3442; 869-469-1111; www.fourseasons.com.
$ Establishment accepts no charge/credit cards or accepts cards other than the American Express Card.