Wedding Ideas

Barbados and Nevis: Two Regal Honeymoon Destinations

Posted on December 23 by Molly Gregor

The Caribbean islands of Nevis and Barbados are like two sisters from the same well-to-do British family—both incredibly refined with a lot to offer, yet with two completely different personalities. But there’s no ugly duckling here. Just two stunning beauties with totally different styles. Barbados Barbados is the glam diva, who lounges by day at a chi-chi luxury boutique hotel on the beach, then dons her Manolo Blahniks and sequined party dress to hit the clubs by night in her chauffeur-driven BMW. Nevis is the earthier, more casual beauty, who spends her day exploring the rain forests, coral reefs, and deserted beaches, then enjoys a five-course meal in her Tory Burch tunic and Jack Rogers sandals, before retreating to her room to curl up to a great book…or her new husband. It’s all a matter of personal preference, and you truly can’t go wrong with either. Pick Nevis or Barbados, and you’ve got a luxury trip of a lifetime—exactly what every honeymoon should be. Nevis Nevis: There’s not a lot to do on Nevis, which is exactly the charm of this small Leeward Island, just two miles from St. Kitts. There’s no traffic, no noise, no building taller than a palm tree—just the trade-wind breezes and the splash of the ocean. They haven’t sold out to the all-inclusive or the large and flashy American chains. But they’ve certainly perfected simple elegance, barefoot luxury, and top-notch exclusivity. This gem of an island will win your heart, and a trip here is sure to be the first of many. Here are my favorite resorts, and I highly recommend hotel-hopping to get a taste of everything Nevis has to offer: Nevis Beach Plantation Nisbet Plantation Beach Club As soon as you step foot on this resort’s grounds, you’ll know that you’ve discovered someplace special. This former sugar plantation is one of the few beach resorts on the island. Your biggest decision will be whether to lounge in the hammock just steps from the ocean or to relax poolside. You’ll be treated to a different gourmet dinner each night in the formal Great House, and the staff is beyond accommodating. All of this adds up to a resort that consistently rates at the top of the travel magazines’ annual “best of” lists. The only thing missing is televisions; its absence makes the resort even more wonderful. 800-742-6008; Four Seasons Nevis The Four Seasons Resort Nevis is the other not-to-miss resort on the island. It’s every bit as fabulous here, but in an entirely different way. Expect five-star accommodations, a to-die-for beach location, wonderful food, first-rate activities, and service second to none. Every type of water sport is available, along with complimentary fruit smoothies, frozen pineapple, and chilled towels brought directly to your chaise on the beach. And don’t miss the Reflection Pool—a tranquil escape for adults only. You’ll have your pick of restaurants, along with award-winning golf and spa services. There’s really no need to leave the grounds. And if you’re able to splurge, book the Hamilton Luxury Suite, a one-bedroom piece of paradise with a to-die-for marble bath, living room with tropical furnishings, and views of the Caribbean and St. Kitts. Not many other honeymoons could top this. 869-469-6238 or The Hermitage Plantation Inn, Nevis The Hermitage Plantation Inn, nestled 800 feet above sea level at the base of Nevis Peak, is another mesmerizing getaway. This boutique hotel, consisting of quaint pastel-colored cottages, is small, remote, relaxed, and removed. And with the trade winds creating a comfortable climate all year-round, up here you’ll have not a care in the world. Relax at the pool, play tennis, hike on the nature trail, take a horse and carriage ride, spend the day the beach (a 15-minute’s drive), or while away the day in the Great House, one of the Caribbean’s oldest structures, decorated with antiques and period furnishings. 800-682-4025; Montpelier Plantation Inn, Nevis Montpelier Plantation Inn is another mountainside resort, which consistently attracts world travelers and celebrities alike, including Princess Diana and the boys. This 30-acre former sugar plantation is now a secluded retreat with 17 rooms decorated in traditional and tropical designs. Unwind at the pool or enjoy the day at the inn’s private beach. Montpelier can also arrange for access to the Four Seasons’ spa and golf course. Top off your day with award-winning dining on the open-air Terrace or an intimate meal at the Mill, the resort’s eighteenth-century sugar mill.  869-469-3462; Barbados Barbados: Barbados, the easternmost island in the Caribbean, emits an air of luxury, charm, and entitlement that is simply alluring, which is why so many celebrities and movie stars flock here in search of privacy and relaxation. There’s even a Bentley parked at the airport, awaiting the trendy jet-setters that the day is sure to bring—Oprah, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, the Beckhams, and Tiger Woods are just a few. And boy can Barbados deliver on everything it has to offer: beautiful beaches, award-winning cuisine, great golf, first-class amenities, vibrant nightlife, and a rich history. In fact, there are so many quality restaurants that Zagat’s published its first-ever Caribbean edition here. The majority of the resorts are small boutique-style hotels on the beach on the island’s calm, crystal-blue waters of the west coast—often referred to as the Gold Coast. There are many different styles to choose from, and here are just a few of my favorites: Sandy Lane, Barbados Sandy Lane The second you step into Sandy Lane, you’re greeted not only with a rum punch, but also an air of elegance and elitism that this resort proudly exudes. This isn’t just any ordinary hotel situated on a beautiful crescent-shaped beach. It’s arguably the finest the Caribbean has to offer. Here everything is a cut above the rest, and among the other luxury resorts of Barbados’ Gold Coast, that’s no small feat. This is how the other half…or actually the other one percent…live, and it’s pretty darn good. Pack your Bermudas, your clubs, and your dinner jacket, and be prepared for the five-star treatment: wall-mounted wide-screen plasma televisions, packing and unpacking services, personal butlers, a 24-hour concierge, sublime spa, remote-control everything (even the drapes), and beachside service—including sunglass cleaning. The list of world-class amenities is as long as the guests are famous—this is where Tiger actually got married. 866-444-4080; Fairmont Royal Pavilion, Barbados The Fairmont Royal Pavilion is traditional perfection, done in classic British style. This property has 72 impeccably decorated rooms, all with ocean views, and a fabulous long beach, which is quite large for Barbados. There’s also a great pool, snorkeling, sailing, and water-skiing—but you’ll mostly relax in the sun. 866-540-4485; The House, Barbados The House This all-white, adults-only resort is chic, sleek, and full of attitude. Upon check-in, you’re assigned an ambassador who escorts you to your room and will ensure all needs are taken care of. Enjoy private plunge pools, complimentary breakfast delivered to your chair on the beach, honeymoon champagne on the house, and all-suite rooms. The lobby is filled with large white furniture, perfect for lounging. And if you’re looking for a little action, you’ll have full use of the watersports at sister properties Tamarind Bay and Turtle Beach. Pack a slinky bikini for the beach by day, and an even slinkier dress for going out at night. Here, it’s all about being cool.  800-467-4519; Previously published. Please consult with resorts for current rates.