Recently, I had an opportunity to take a much needed break and go on vacation! If you follow me on facebook, you saw lots of impromptu pics and stories of my trip to the island of Nevis in the West Indies, where I stayed at the Four Seasons Nevis. I wanted to take a moment to share more details about my trip (in case you want to go!) and specifically how I stayed healthy while traveling.
First of all – staying at any Four Seasons Property, where they have the best people and service on the planet is a treat in itself. I’ve always found myself making conversation with their employees because they are so freaking nice & entertaining – it makes being on vacation that much more amazing and fun. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever saved money and time to go on a vacation and then ended up having bad service at a hotel or restaurant and it ruins the whole experience!
We arrived in Nevis on the tiniest of planes… just an 8 seater prop plane:
When I go on vacation, I always follow my habit of drinking lemon water before the day starts. The Four Seasons Nevis, as well as many other hotels will gladly provide a lemon and hot water usually for free via room service! By the end of my stay, the room service operator had my order down pat, which was really cute.
I also started each morning with a cup of tea (pictured below is one of my favorite fermented teas called “Pu-erh” by Numi – I like cardamon and ginger the best) and an organic green power. I always carry my own tea with me and always take green powders with me on vacation when I know I won’t be getting as much greens in – it’s a safety net I cannot live without! I gulp mine down with just water, but many people need something to help get it down, so I recommend using coconut water in that case.
The first day in Nevis, The Four Seasons and The Tourism Authority arranged a tour to Manza’s Organic Farm. There we met Manza himself and Angelique France. This experience was definitely a highlight of the trip and to quote Manza after he heard my husband had some pancakes at breakfast (which I took a several bites of!) “People were not meant to eat invented foods made by man, but plants made from earth.” and points to his surroundings – smart man!
We sampled, smelled and learned about all the ins and outs of the seasons and what grows when. Bugs were all over me, which was a good thing (but not the bites later!) because they don’t spray chemicals that kill living things on Manza’s.
One of my favorite plants we learned about was Soursop, which is known worldwide to be a natural cancer remedy. Soursop was growing plentifully on Manza’s farm, along with a bunch of other amazing fruits and vegetables. I got to take home a couple of items home, like this eggplant (pictured below) and drink fresh beet & ginger juice. Beet juice is a natural blood cleanser, improves blood flow and helps the body improve stamina during exercise. It was pretty cool to find beet juice other places on the island too, not just at this organic farm. Beet juice is popular in Nevis!
After we visited Manza’s, we had a chance to sit down with Angelique from Nevis tourism for a truly local meal at a place called the “Paradise Drive Thru.” I was a little nervous at first considering the name of the place! I can tell you this was not typical drive thru food – it was gourmet Nevisian cuisine! We had local fish & lobster, salad, vegetables and rice – so good and healthy. If you’ve been following the blog for some time now, you’ll know I tend to eat like the locals when I travel – life is too short not to experience all the goodness different cuisines and cultures have to offer. So naturally I ate lots of lobster on this trip – the water surrounding Nevis are teeming with them!
We ate many dishes at the Four Season’s restaurants throughout our stay – they have a two restaurants near the beach and pool (Cabana and Mango), and 3 on the main property (Neve, Coral Grill, and The Library). We enjoyed the different sceneries, but loved eating at the beach and pool the best – where they have service available at all 4 pools on property and on the beach. The amenities beach and pool side included fresh water refills with lemon or fruit infused water, slices of fruit, frozen homemade yogurt, and other complimentary snacks.
My favorite breakfast was a vegetable roti, and I pretty much had the same avocado and chickpea cobb salad every single day for lunch because it was so good! Instead of meat, they used chickpeas – what a great touch. Looking back at the pictures makes my mouth water. The salad was divine and I’ll definitely be recreating it at home. Snacks included lots of guacamole and of course we had dessert pretty much every night. My favorite was fresh coconut ice cream with coconut chips available on the menu at the Library Bar menu. We hung out a lot in the library at night playing backgammon listening to live music and DJ’s in the lobby that was right next door.
One night we walked down on the beach to Double Deuce, a beach restaurant & karaoke bar really close to the Four Seasons. The food was excellent and the place was happening! I had pumpkin soup, a salad, and some french fries off my husband’s plate – note the “no high fructose corn syrup” Hunts ketchup they had on the table. I normally skip the ketchup at a restaurant, but I had no problem indulging this time. It was interesting to find out that the chef has his potatoes flown in from Europe – considering there are so many organic potatoes available at Manza’s farm.
As the trip went on, our meals kept getting more and more fabulous. The meal that I caught myself with my little lasso definitely tops the charts. I have been scuba diving for a long time, but I’ve never caught anything to eat before (in water or on land!), so when the Manager of the Four Seasons offered this experience to me, I couldn’t pass it up. Chef Kai, who is on point to prepare your lobster also dives with you! What an incredible bonding time – to be under the sea with your own personal chef! Catching a lobster was quite easy once I understood how the lasso worked. It was really fun and I will definitely be doing it again one day if given the opportunity. Chef Kai brought snack boxes with a fruit, cookies and chips to enjoy between dives too – I swear the Four Seasons thinks of everything!
Back on land, the chef prepared a delicious feast, freshly caught fish ceviche and the lobster. We enjoyed a special beach bungalow to dine in and relax for the rest of the afternoon. The beach bungalows have everything you need – tropical breeze, endless supply of drinks, magazines, even a TV (which we ended up turning on to watch the US Open). I don’t watch much TV, but it was nice being in the shade on the beach watching tennis.
Another favorite meal included this spread of amazing Indian food from a restaurant called Indian Summer. It’s the number one restaurant on the island and I can totally see why. Indian Summer was actually closed for renovations during our visit, but the Four Seasons went above and beyond the call of duty for me to try this cuisine. The chef from the restaurant cooked this meal in his own kitchen and brought it to the Four Seasons for us to experience. Being Indian and all – the meal was incredible and a nice change of pace from the Caribbean cuisine. The Four Seasons staff arranged this dinner in our own private bungalow on the beach under the stars – it was SUPER ROMANTIC.
Of course with all the eating going on, I had to stay active. I’m definitely not a “just sit on the beach” kinda traveler, so we made use of all the activities offered. We went scuba diving, rode bikes all over the mountainous terrain (the Four Seasons has absolutely gorgeous hiking trails where white faced monkeys hide!), went paddleboarding, after watching all the US Open we had to hit some balls on the tennis courts (one day we used the clay courts and one day we used the hard courts) and we walked and swam a lot! I almost always exercise on vacation or hit the gym. This trip I only hit the gym one time (which was fully equipped with everything by the way!).
Towards the end of our stay, we enjoyed a couple’s massage in the cutest little private spa hut. They have their very own co-ed whirlpool which I thought was very cool, because often times they are separated by gender – which totally kills the romance!
Reliving these memories makes me want to be back there. The Four Seasons Nevis is an incredibly beautiful resort to visit if you get a chance. It’s one of those resorts, you never want to leave. A big thank you goes to the entire staff of the Four Seasons Nevis and Angelique from Nevis Tourism for making our stay so memorable, fun and delicious! We’ll definitely be back soon, hopefully sailing up to the island for a stop next time!
If you have any question about healthy travel or Nevis – I’m all ears and have answers so ask away in the comments below.
P.S. I want to plan another trip soon, any ideas?