Friday, June 21, 2013

Paradise Vacation 2013: Nevis (Part I)

On Sunday of our trip, we met the ferry to take us to Nevis. After a 45 minute ride, we pulled up in front of one of the most beautiful resorts I have ever seen- the Four Seasons Nevis. We were greeted by our own staff member who escorted us to the Apple hospitality lounge for check-in, where we received a fun welcome gift of a beach bag and matching towels. It was then on to our room overlooking a hammock, the beach, and the 18th hole green. Seriously, I could have died right there.

The Holland House: Four Seasons Nevis
After settling in, grabbing some lunch and touring the property, it was time to head to the beach for the welcome reception. There were drinks, great food, and even a band playing. It was fun to see a few coworkers who I knew, and also to have a chance to meet some of the ones from the field who I rarely get to see. But Sunday also meant football play-offs, and those of us from the Texas team migrated to a tent set up closer to the hotel that had the games on TV. We drank beer and watched football, with the sound of waves in the background and sand beneath our toes. A girl could get used to that for sure!

Monday started with a mandatory business meeting, which ended with a Ray-Ban rep handing out pairs of sunglasses. Score! We then settled by the Reflection pool (one of 3 pools on the property) for a few hours of relaxation. I scheduled a body scrub at the spa later in the day, so I eventually had to go inside to clean up for that. I wanted to try a treatment that I had never done before, and that sounded like a great way to get the dead, flaky winter skin off my body. The spa area was nothing short of amazing. I could have stayed there for hours! There were two small "pools"- a waterfall pool and a dipping pond. Such a relaxing space.

The Holland House: Four Seasons Spa

The Holland House: Rainbow

After my spa visit, we met up with friends to walk around the corner to Lime Beach Bar for dinner. The Four Seasons is nice, but as you can imagine- the food was very pricey. It was also not as good as we were expecting, so for meals on our own we decided to try places off property. Lucky for us, there was a string of beach bars just a 10 minute walk down the beach, with fresh fish and lobster for only $20 a plate. The pace of life on the island is a slow one, so we were prepared for a long evening and made the most of it with familiar and new friends. Hank ordered lobster, I ordered shrimp, and everything was delicious!

After dinner we made our way to Sunshine's Bar, where the Killer Bee drink was made famous. It's made with moonshine rum and fresh fruit juice, and topped with bitters and fresh grated nutmeg. More than one is guaranteed to mess you up big time! But it was so tasty and definitely worth trying.

The Holland House: Lime Beach Bar

Tuesday morning rolled around a little too early, as we had signed up to do a kayaking excursion that started at 9. We took a cab a few miles away from the hotel and met our tour guide Greg. He was great and made sure that we were all set up and ready to go. We kayaked for 3 miles back to the hotel, stopping twice to snorkel and have a little picnic. It was so fun seeing Nevis up close from the water. It was not an easy excursion at times, but we really enjoyed it.

Back at the hotel, we changed into swimsuits and got lucky by snagging one of the beach-side private cabanas. Apple had rented them out for 3 days, and I was so glad we got to spend a few hours in one. After being out in the sun all morning, I needed some shade. These were like fancy little huts with a sitting area, TV and small fridge inside, and lounge chairs under the covered area. We also had someone waiting on us, and quickly ordered lunch and drinks. We only got to stay for a few hours since we had to get ready for an Apple hosted dinner, but it was a great, relaxing afternoon.

The Holland House: Private Cabana

After a brief cocktail party, the whole group (there were about 130 of us) boarded buses to the Golden Rock Inn, an old sugar mill plantation-turned nature preserve and boutique hotel. It was breathtakingly beautiful! The grounds were meticulously kept, and many of the old buildings had been repurposed into a restaurant, pool bar, etc. They also turned the old sugar mill into a 2-story room. We were greeted with drinks and appetizers, and had plenty of time to walk around exploring all the trails.

Dinner was served next to a multi-level pond area, and this ended up being one of my favorite meals. Fresh food, lots of variety (including a ton of vegetarian options) and even a cheese and fruit platter served before dessert! It was heavenly. After dinner the DJ turned up the tunes and there was plenty of dancing into the late night hours. We were tired from our morning excursion, but made our way onto the dance floor a few times before calling it a night.

The Holland House: Sugar Mill

The Holland House: Golden Rock Inn

Part II of the trip coming right up....

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