“My husband, young son, and I went to the Four Seasons Resort, Nevis, for Christmas a few years ago. Once we were there, we decided to extend our vacation to three weeks, straight through the New Year. We had never done anything like that before—it was an incredible luxury. We had the most magical tropical vacation ever.
“We stayed in a freestanding house with a private pool and a view of the Nevis Peak volcano and rain forest high above us. Green monkeys were everywhere—they jumped all over the roof, and when we’d leave our villa, No. 1502, the monkeys would be there, sitting on the porch in lounge chairs. We played all day with our son, Roman, in the family pool, and then, toward the end of the trip, we swam to an enormous inflatable trampoline anchored in the ocean. What could be more fun than jumping on a trampoline in the water during a breathtaking sunset, with flocks of egrets flying overhead? We had this peaceful sense of being on an island, of being outside our lives.
“I know that Nevis was profoundly affected by Hurricane Omar in 2008 and I’ve often thought about the marvelous people that we met there. By the time we left, it felt like they all had become family friends. I was heartened to hear that the resort will be open again this winter and I can’t wait to go back.”
Actress Debra Messing is an ambassador for Population Services International (PSI), a global health organization, and has recently traveled to Zimbabwe and Washington, D.C., on behalf of the nonprofit.
“Sunshine’s Beach Bar & Grill (Pinney’s Beach; 869/469-5817; dinner for two $70) is bare-bones and hippieish and set in a hut on the sand. Go for grilled lobster and tropical drinks.”
“While hiking through the rain forest to get to Golden Rock Inn (Gingerland; 869/469-3346), a former sugar plantation, we saw a tarantula, which made me realize we weren’t in Kansas anymore. There’s also the Montpelier Plantation Resort (Montpelier; 869/469-3462; dinner for two $104), with a restaurant set in an 18th-century mill.”
“We rented a catamaran and went snorkeling in Chitten Bay, off the coast of St. Kitts, four miles away. We watched pelicans dive off cliffs, and I remember just sitting there floating, enjoying. It was one of the most beautiful days I’ve ever had.”
The Four Seasons Resort, Nevis (Pinney’s Beach; 800/332-3442; fourseasons.com; doubles from $595), is a long-standing T+L 500 hotel. New for 2011: 196 renovated rooms, 45 villas, beachside cabanas, a restaurant, and a sailing school.