In the quest for the perfect vacation, my husband and I have an endless debate: go with what we know? Or try something new? When schedules allow, we try to incorporate a bit of both in our travel plans—but we always go back to Four Seasons Resort Nevis, West Indies.
My husband actually had the good fortune to live on the property some years back while he was working in banking, so he and my two step-children, Carter, 13, and Max, 12, have a very special relationship with the resort. We make our best effort to go back once a year. But sadly, due to the 2008 hurricane, this was our first time back in three years.
As expected, we were welcomed with open arms from the staff, including squeals (and some tears) from many of the female staff when they saw how much Max and Carter had grown. We also brought along our two-year-old son Teddy, my mother and mother-in-law. With the whole family in tow, I had some reservations as to whether we’d be able to enjoy quality time or if it would be a case of constant chaos. I was happy to discover that managing a large group, and finding some alone time was a breeze at the resort.
By staying in one of the villas up on the golf course, we were able to be together, yet separate, in our own rooms. And having a kitchen allowed us to stock up (thanks to Residential Guest Services) and feed the kids when their stomachs started grumbling.
During the day, there was something for everyone. The big boys were busy with activities such as kayaking and tennis (and some “limited” time in the Teen Games Room). Teddy had a blast in the ball pit in the Kids For All Seasons club*, and “the moms” loved walking the golf course.
For my husband and I, we had an amazing couple’s massage at the spa, squeezed in some tennis and sailing, but always regrouped with the gang for some poolside lunch. One night, for a change of scenery, we ordered room service to one of the new cabañas on the beach and enjoyed a memorable al fresco dinner picnic by the water.
But the trip highlight was by far the morning monkey rides. Teddy was up bright and early, so we’d take him on the golf cart through the golf course, where we were, at times, surrounded by monkeys! Once the older boys got wind of it, they dragged themselves out of bed to join us. But you have to get up early to enjoy the spectacle. Our best viewing time was 6:30 am; by 7:30, the monkeys had usually gone back into hiding. It’s incredible to see them playing and feeling free in their natural environment. We even saw a few mama monkeys with their babies. Teddy is still talking about it.
Really, Four Seasons Nevis is like a second home to us. We were so thrilled to see everyone there and to give our extended family the chance to enjoy it with us. We will cherish the memories of this trip, and look forward to our annual pilgrimage next year.
Read more about Nevis in Four Seasons Magazine.
*Kids For All Seasons (KFAS) is a Four Seasons complimentary recreational and educational program for children of resort guests. The Nevis KFAS club is designed for youth three to nine years old, and open daily from 9 to 5. (Other KFAS clubs cater to the five to 12-year-old crowd. Younger children can often join KFAS with a nanny or parent, or resorts can arrange for babysitting.) But details vary from property to property, so check the resort’s website for more information.
Kids can go all day or just for an hour or two. Activities inside and out include games, sports, music, treasure hunts, swimming, arts and crafts, cultural education, environmental preservation work and yoga. Not your average camp, the VIP offerings are pretty extraordinary—for example, at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, kids can help the resort’s marine biologist graft coral in the lagoon sanctuary.
Joanna Track is the founder and CEO of Dealuxe, Canada’s ultimate destination for contemporary fashion and lifestyle products. She is also the founder of the online lifestyle magazine, Sweetspot.ca, mom to two-year-old Teddy and a closet math geek. Joanna lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with her husband and son.
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