Covering just 36 square miles, Nevis, a volcanic island in the West Indies, is tiny—but it holds a big place in history. Discovered by Columbus, it’s the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton. You’ll be so happy here you’ll want to break into song. Raise a glass!
Authenticity is key at The Hermitage (869-469-3477, rooms from $150). The furniture is antique and the buildings are historic, none more so than the centerpiece of the old sugar plantation, the Great House. Dating back to the 17th century, it's the oldest wooden house in the Caribbean. The guest rooms themselves are set in colorful gingerbread cottages, which are dotted among the expansive gardens filled with palm and fruit trees. Be sure to visit the Art House, a shop that sells work from local artisans.
If you stay at The Hermitage, you don’t have to go far for great food. Meals are served on the verandah of the Great House. The highlight is the weekly pig roast; every Wednesday a local porker is spit roasted for seven hours under a mango tree. (Which, if you have to be spit roasted, is a pretty great locale.)
More from SwimLife
HOMES AWAY FROM HOME
The island has just 406 hotel rooms but plenty of accommodations. Suzanne Gordon went to Nevis in 1997 to write a book; three years later she started Sugar Mill Real Estate. It features some of the island’s most breathtaking rental properties (869-663-8910, rentals from $200). And if you love it here (spoiler alert: you will!), Sugar Mill also lists homes, land and villlas.
Every island has the perfect beach bar where you can while away an afternoon with a cocktail (or two). Sunshine’s is a beachfront hangout that serves up the Killer Bee. The recipe is a secret—bartenders will sometimes mix the drinks under the bar—but whatever it is, it packs a (delicious) kick.
Hair by Adam Maclay using Oribe. Makeup by Bryan Zaragoza using Charlotte Tilbury Cosmetics.