After thoroughly enjoying our email exchanges with Paula, we were eager to meet her at the ferry dock in Nevis. She immediately asked if we would mind staying in the villa, rather than the cottage we had reserved; they had had a last-minute cancellation and she and Lynn were already comfortably ensconced in the cottage. What a deal! The villa is very well built, probably because of the builder Lynn selected and the guidance he could offer based on his career in construction. It is also the cleanest villa we have seen in our thirty years of visiting the Caribbean, thanks to Indira. Although we had been concerned about the lack of air conditioning, this turned out not to be an issue because of the relatively dry climate and the almost continuous breeze. Indeed, we slept under the covers every night. The screened-in porch provided the perfect spot for dining. The view of Oualie Beach and St. Kitts from the veranda was spectacular. Lest one conclude all was perfection, there are two caveats. First, Ridge Road, which leads up to the villa and the cottage as well as the rest of Jones Estate, is better described as an obstacle course. Second, the public water system would run dry almost every morning and occasionally in the evening as well. Fortunately, Lynn installed a cistern, which could be switched on as required. While the intermittent "government" water, as Nevisians call it, is not the fault of the owners, it is still an annoyance for us renters.
|How easy was it to book the property?||How easy was key pickup/access to the property?|
|Overall condition of the property||Bedding & mattresses|
|Kitchen & utensils||Bathroom cleanliness|
|Other facilities & amenities||Service|
|Friends getaway||Older travelers|
|Families with young children|
Stayed a week in Round Hill Villa. Clean and cozy accommodations, safe and very secure.
Views are spectacular, overlooking Oualie Beach. A short drive up a winding road from the main road below. Villa sits atop a cliff. Nice fully screened veranda and villa -- don't let the "cottage" terminology mislead you - this is not a cottage by the midwesterners standard. The bathroom is fully tiled with a glass shower door. Louvered windows throughout, fully screened and secure. Bed is comfortable. Nice laundry facilities on site, weather was nice enough that our line dry clothing was dry by morning, for those delicates you don't want to put in dryer. Kitchen was well equipped with a stovetop, full refrigerator, electric oven roaster, toaster oven, coffee maker, etc. Bring your own spices. We purchased extra toilet paper, paper towel, aluminum foil to get two adults through the end of our week - we cooked many breakfasts and lunches at the villa, and some dinners. There is also an outdoor gas grill on site. Never had a problem with bugs inside the villa.
We knew there wasn't maid service during the week, but there were enough cleaning supplies on site to maintain, including a lightweight vacume cleaner. Ceiling fans are nice, but a high powered fan would have been nice. There was the occasional breeze, but we tried to shower early before the heat of the day to avoid the tropical humidity.
Wifi - for anyone who is going to rely on a consistent connection, you might want to head closer to Oualie or other nearby restaurants where they have free wi fi. Our connection throughout the week was intermittent at best, and a very slow connection at that. Evenings were almost impossible as well as early morning. Mid day we had the best luck getting through to email while at the villa.
Definitely recommend renting an SUV through Round Hill. A 'must have' to explore the island.
Not many people at Oualie beach during our stay, but it was low season. Not what we consider a "beach" destination per se, though there are nice beaches to visit. Heed the recommendations that this is a conservative island - don't plan on meandering around in a bathing suit. My husband usually took a collared button down shirt and nice shoes along with us and kept it in the vehicle when we expored the island, in case we wanted to stop at one of the finer establishments on our way around.
The islanders are wonderful people. One of the most welcoming places we've visited in the caribbean.
Definitely stop at Rodney's Cuisine for lunch. What a wonderful lady!!
The lobster sandwich at Golden Rock - maybe I was anticipating it too much. Good, but nothing to write home about. Price tag was a little high for lobster salad on two pieces of white bread. Just my opinion. Guess I expected something a bit fancier. Think chicken salad substituted with lobster on white bread. Golden Rock is a beautiful establishment - love what they did with the place, and spectacular views. Elegant, contemporaryish and quaint. Would love to stay in their revamped sugar mills some day.
Round Hill picked us up at the ferry dock, took us grocery shopping, and then drove us to the villa where our car was waiting. Nice.
Took their recommendation to take a private water taxi back to St. Kitts on our return home - what a time saver!!! Cost us $100 per couple, well worth it and would do it again in a heartbeat. They take you just across the channel to St. Kitts where a driver awaits and takes you to the airport (driver is inclusive). The ferry ride from St. Kitts to Nevis was inexpensive, but time consuming. The ferry ride itself is short, but the wait, the time to load and depart, and then the time to dock in Nevis, and discharge passengers is a bit much for a short 7 day trip. It was nice for the adventure, but if it's in your budget definitely go with the private water taxi. A real time saver.
Definitely rent an SUV - there are many backroads to explore on the windward side of the island where the only thing you will see are wild goats and donkeys. Not a soul in sight.
Plenty of beaches to explore as well. Windward beach is a nice trek past the horse stables where we stopped to greet the horses. Only runners on the beach, not a swimming beach. Also found Black Sand Cove, go early in the day to avoid high tide, a nice black sand beach with high cliffs around you, not a soul in sight, somewhat off the beaten path to find. Breathtaking. Not a swimming beach, surf too rough.
Herberts beach -- the beach itself is not all that clean, but the water is spectacular and crystal clear azure waters, and others were snorkeling and said they enjoyed what sea life was there. We were disappointed we left our snorkeling gear at home.
The water at Oualie beach was so so, but warm and ideal for swimming. Piers around.
Nisbet beach is nice, stopped at Nisbet for a nice beachside lunch. This is a swimmers beach, nice stretch for walking along the waters edge.
Found the perfect conch shell in our explorations of the windward side of the island, but can't take it out of the country. Explored the old sugar mills and roads that led from there into no mans land with our SUV. Husband loved the "off roading" experience - so for those men out there who like this, there's plenty to explore here. Lots of backroads. We found our way into secluded areas of the island where there was some mining taking place, wild goats and donkeys around and not much else.
Stopped at Newcastle Pottery and purchased some votive souveniers for our patio, along with other local souveniers.
Visited the botanical gardens. Nice to see. No local souveniers in the gift shop here, mostly imports.
Definitely visit Four Seasons gift shop for some nice clothing. We also purchased a souvenier nautical map of the island, the only place that carried it. Lovely grounds, spectacular resort.
There are various places in Charlestown for tshirts or postcards. Grocery stores throughout the island - we stopped at both Best Buys (the one on the other side was really well stocked), and the other charlestown grocery store. There are some bakeries in Charlestown.
Had to stop at Rodney's Cuisine. Read my trip report post - what a lovely lady! We tried our first Johnny cake here, yummy. She made us a nice tropical refreshing fruit drink with fresh picked cherries off the tree outside her door, and a mouth watering savory home cooked meal that made me want to stay! Mmmmmmm.
Definitely bring spices and coffee with you from home. We also stocked up on bottled water at the local grocery store, made a lot of tortillas with eggs, avacado, onions, veggies, etc. for breakfasts and meats - chicken and beef for dinner at the villa. There is one large bottled water (jug) at the villa upon arrival.
A portable water cooler will come in handy for those who like to explore the island.
Shoes - if you plan on hiking, wear appropriate shoes. We went on our own and there are thorns that came straight through my one inch sturdy flip flops like butter, luckily between my toes. We also hiked saddle hill - it's a fairly easy walk up a winding road, can't get lost and the views atop are spectacular. The ramparts on the way up are fun to explore. We found our way up the back of one of the walls to get some better views atop the walls. Also found Phillipa's grave on the way up.
Stopped at a few of the beach bars around the island, but didn't venture out for any night life. Roads are dark at night, please drive slow and safe. We had some scrumptious lunches at the beach bars, better than you'd expect. Arrived at Sunrise beach bar to tables with tablecloths and wine glasses awaiting us. Always something elegant about Nevis.
Also stopped at the town of Bath hot springs. WOW. Hot.
Stop at the office of tourism in Charlestown for various maps of the island. They will tell you which is the best. We used both the one that came with the villa and the other supplied by the tourist board, both came in equally handy. Not all roads are marked, but locals always willing to point you in the right direction.
Beautiful architecture throughout the island. Churches galore, old world stone architecture. Stopped to see the black Jesus crucifix. Saw locals dressed in their Sunday best for mass on Sunday.
Stopped for a killer bee at Sunshines. Rumor is that the road is so ridden with pot holes so the owner can catch up with anyone trying to skip out on their bill. LOL. Don't know how true this is. Drink these SLOW. You don't taste the alcohol, but it's in there.
Saw a few monkeys at the main house up the hill from us. Management left us a phone for local or emergency calls, and they were attentive to our needs. Nice people.
Sent the owner an email before our departure to communicate that we enjoyed our stay at their lovely accommodations. Never heard back. Disappointing. But, we had a lovely stay nonetheless.
A nice, quiet, peaceful destination not overrun by tourists or cruise ships. Hopefully this gem of an island will remain a secret in the caribbean. 98% literacy rate, wonderful people.
|Check-in / front desk||Service|
|A romantic getaway||Older travelers|
|Families with young children||Tourists|
|Large groups||Luxury-minded travelers|