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In-Depth on Four New Four Seasons Resorts in the CaribbeanDecember 6, 2011 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent
|After its reopening, Four Seasons Resort Nevis is even stronger and more attractive than it has ever been.|
The luxury hotel brand Four Seasons is arguably responsible in large measure for the success of the small island of Nevis and its big sister, St. Kitts. When Four Seasons Resort Nevis first opened in February 1991, the previously little-known Nevis began attracting affluent jet-setters familiar with the company’s outstanding customer service. And they just kept coming year after year to this romantic Caribbean getaway near the north end of the Lesser Antilles.
The resort’s success was put on a two-year hold following its closing as a result of damage from Hurricane Omar. But since its reopening in December last year, the resort is perhaps an even stronger and more attractive draw than it has ever been.
Travel Agent recaps the selling points of this long-standing Caribbean favorite and explores Four Season’s preliminary plans to expand to the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and Barbados.
Four Seasons Resort Nevis
The 196-room resort officially reopened on December 15, 2010. The rooms include 17 suites and there are an additional 40 private residential units. It is on Pinney’s Beach, which is just a few minutes from museums, plantation homes and historic churches dating to the 1600s. In fact, it is on the site of a late 18th-century sugar and coconut plantation; the remains of a stone windmill are visible from the golf course’s second tee. It is well-suited for affluent baby boomer couples, although it has the facilities to accommodate small families as well.
The resort is 10 minutes from the Nevis airport or roughly 30 minutes by boat from the St. Kitts airport. In fact, Travel Agent got the skinny on a really cool transfer to the resort facilitates. Once Four Seasons Resort Nevis has the guests’ flight details, the reservations team reaches out to the guests to confirm their flight arrival and departure details and arrange transfers either via a private 35-minute Four Seasons yacht ride from St. Kitts or government-regulated taxi service from Nevis airport. They can also arrange a spot on the public ferry from St. Kitts for $10. The price of the Four Seasons boat launch is $130 roundtrip for adults and children 12 and older, $65 for five- to 11-year-olds, and free for kids under five years.
The property consists of local Nevisian architecture featuring a West Indian plantation-style Great House, all surrounded by tropical gardens in a beachfront setting.
The spa, which first opened in 2002, consists of gingerbread-trimmed treatment cottages among tropical gardens in the West Indian colonial style. The signature regimens are the 80-minute Rum Tonic body treatment and the Island Hopper massage, which can be of either 50 or 80 minutes. Additional services include manicures, pedicures, makeup application, salon services and waxing. Also, a newly expanded fitness center is in the resort’s Sports Pavilion, housed in the same two-story facility that includes the resort’s Pro Shop (on the top floor featuring golf and tennis). Additions to the fitness center include several new machines, a new stretching area and more.
|The elegant Deluxe Ocean View rooms overlook the Caribbean Sea and the beachfront.|
For dining, travelers should check out the new Coral Grill restaurant, which was introduced in December last year when the resort reopened. The signature dish here is parrillada for two. Other recommended dishes at the resort include Neve’s spiny lobster risotto, Cabana’s Nicoise salad at the Cabana, and Mango’s barbecued ribs.
Recreational highlights include tennis, golf and water sports. The resort has 10 tennis courts with instruction available for an extra fee. Former tennis pro Peter Burwash told Travel Agent in a recent interview that the Four Seasons Resort Nevis is one of the most in-demand resorts to play at in the region. Burwash is the president of Peter Burwash International, a California-based company that employs roughly 100 tennis professionals and partners with resorts in the Caribbean and the rest of the world to provide top-of-the-line tennis instruction to resort guests.
The resort is also home to an 18-hole Robert Trent Jones II Golf Course, which opened in 1991. It also has a sailing school, five swimming pools and facilities for boating, bottom fishing, kneeboarding, scuba diving, snorkeling, tubing, wakeboarding, water skiing, windsurfing and more.
Agents can direct their queries to Reservations Manager Suezette Liburd ([email protected], 869-469-6234) for special requests.
Expansion on Three Islands
During a media lunch hosted by the Four Seasons Resort Nevis last month, Travel Agent learned of the company’s preliminary plans to expand its Caribbean presence, targeting three islands in particular.
Andrew Humphries, Four Seasons Resort Nevis’ general manager and regional vice president, told us that Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts is eyeing Barbados, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas to raise its profile in the region, as the Nevis resort is currently the luxury powerhouse’s only Caribbean property.
The Letter of Intent (LOI) has yet to be signed for the Puerto Rico property, which would be on the eastern tip of the island, so Humphries is predicting that the resort would be completed in no less than five to six years from now.
An LOI needs to be re-signed in Barbados after original plans for a Four Seasons there stalled due to slowdown. The resort, however, is still not expected to be completed until at least 2016, Humphries says. The property would be built on Eleuthera, a luxury Out Island of the Bahamas, and should be ready by 2013, he adds.