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Four Seasons Nevis--Risky to Book for mid-to-late Jan.??

Four Seasons Nevis--Risky to Book for mid-to-late Jan.??

Old Nov 6th, 2010, 06:13 PM
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Four Seasons Nevis--Risky to Book for mid-to-late Jan.??

I'm thinking of booking a 4 night stay at Four Seasons Nevis the weekend of 1/21/11 for my husband's 40th. This will be our first stay there. They are offering a 4th night free, which makes for a relatively reasonable stay (esp. versus Jumby Bay, which was my first pick). However, after visiting the hotel website, I see that it is closed until 12/15. I have called the hotel and left a message (no answer as direct reservations line is closed for the night), but does anyone here have any thoughts on the risk factor involved in booking a mid-to-late January stay at a hotel that is currently closed but -- according to website -- scheduled to reopen 12/15? (According to Fodor's Caribbean 2011 book, hotel was originally scheduled to reopen in Nov., and further web research indicates even earlier opening dates that obviously didn't happen). Thoughts?? Thanks in advance.
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Old Nov 6th, 2010, 10:12 PM
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I'd be nervous due to the previous opening dates that, as you know, never happened but our main issue with the island is it does depend where you're flying from - before Four Seasons closed you could fly direct from St Juan to Nevis on a puddle jumper - now you have to travel via St Kitts and it does add so much time for us (flying from Boston) that we haven't been back since 2007.

We didn't stay at Four Seasons but rather Nisbet Plantation - a smaller (AI if you want it) resort with excellent facilities and care. Recommended on 'The Knot' for honeymoons. It was the resort that we chose to spend our 25th wedding anniversary and my 43th birthday.

I have a friend who honeymooned at Four Seasons and would love to go back but is wary just in case the resort doesn't lives up to her memories. They are looking at going back in 2013 for their 5th anniversary and is hoping any 'wrinkles' will have been ironed out by then.

We ate lunch there and while I can't remember what we had - I do know that it was delicious but ever meal we had on the island was

It's a beautiful island, very driveable with excellent Plantation Inns serving food worth leaving the beach for
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Old Nov 7th, 2010, 04:17 AM
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Management at the Four Seasons Resort is working hard toward a December 15th opening - staff has been hired and undergoing training, workers are putting the finishing touches on the grounds and the beach area has undergone extensive repairs. While it's always difficult to predict future events there seems little doubt the hotel will reopen as scheduled on December 15. Word around the island is the resort is fully booked for Christmas/New Years.

Flying into St. Kitts is not as bad as alya makes it sound. There are non-stops from several US cities (for example America has daily non-stops from Miami which get you in around 2PM and they fly non-stop from JFK on Sundays and Wednesday). Once on St. Kitts you can take the Four Seasons launch directly to the resort - you can be sitting on the beach at the resort with a pina coloda in your hand within about 45 minutes of leaving the customs/immigration area at the airport.

Regarding the "direct reservation line" - I'm not surprised it was "closed for the night" - if you call during the day you should get an answer.

Lastly, the postponement of the "earlier opening dates" were all tied to problems stemming from lack of financing and bankruptcy proceeding leveed against the resort property owners (The Four Seasons does not and never has owned the property - they are just the resort's Operators/Management Company and thus had no control over the legal proceedings). Once those issued were resolved the Four Seasons management was allowed to proceed with their re-opening plans.

I wouldn't hesitate to book your trip for mid-late January.
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Old Nov 7th, 2010, 04:32 AM
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Sorry, but I am one of those people who was underwhelmed by the Four Seasons Nevis. While I did not stay there, I spent time there twice while my husband was playing golf and just did not think the resort was that special. The Four Seasons Punta Mita was much more spectacular. On Nevis, I much preferred Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, very romantic, charming, great service, picturesque. If you were looking at Antigua, you might check out Galley Bay, a very special, romantic resort. GB is our all-time favorite Caribbean resort, and Nisbet is second. We prefer quieter, smaller, more unique resorts -- the Four Seasons is a great chain but a bit too large, too crowded and too many children to be our choice for a special vacation.
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Old Nov 7th, 2010, 12:53 PM
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I wouldn't hesitate to book. Love the FS, especially in Nevis. One of the best resorts we have ever been to. The FS in Punta Mita is cool on a January night. Plus, in Nevis, you are really escaping. It's not a commercialized island. I will say this though - with the exception of Mango's, we found the food at the FS to be overpriced and just ok. Plan on eating at the many wonderful places around Nevis. BTW, the monkeys on the golf course are so entertaining.
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Old Nov 8th, 2010, 03:35 AM
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I walked past the Four Seasons this past week, just to see how it looked. While I might be leery about December 15, I think mid-January, 2011, would be safe. There seems to be a lot of work left to do to re-open, but there are workers out in force and they seem to be at it day and night. I personally don't find the location of the Four Seasons to be all that wonderful (other than its proximity to Sunshine's...), as the beach is not especially pretty and the breezes don't always reach that shore, but if it's your choice, you should be good-to-go in January.

I took the MIA-SKB flight on AA last week, and using Nisbet Plantation's water taxi, was on Nevis in no time. I don't think that the absence of a flight to NEV should deter you, and the larger number of choices to SKB is a plus. I understand that once the Four Seasons re-opens, the SJU-NEV flight will resume.
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Old Nov 9th, 2010, 02:19 PM
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Under Four Season's management the resort was a dream resort. You will be going when you will find the least amount of children as well. The only question I have, for based on comments above mid-Jan. is a safe bet, is 4 nights is very short considering you will spend the better part of 2 days traveling to and back.
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Old Nov 10th, 2010, 12:28 AM
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Stan - I'm looking forward to the SJU- NEV starting again but at the moment we would have to spend over 9 hours travelling each way. Four nights really only gives you 3 days on the island.

That certainly wouldn't be enough for us, when we can be on the beach in Negril in 5 hours - that I'd think about doing for four nights Nevis? I want to be pampered.

Callaloo - thanks for the update, it does help to have someone 'on the ground'
I remember once reading about the closing of Four Seasons and one quote was something along the lines of "Did they not realise that there was a reason that a resort had not been built there before?"

I wonder how they have dealt with the people who bought villas? Surely some property was far enough back not to have been affected by the hurricane?
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Old Nov 10th, 2010, 03:02 AM
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Alya, as you noted, the Four Seasons site is a subject of much shaking of heads and clucking of tongues among Nevisians. I have heard, however, that this new rebuild will make the resort less susceptible to the inevitable storms. Let's hope so -- a small island like Nevis needs the commerce and the jobs.
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Old Nov 10th, 2010, 03:49 AM
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FYI - the private villas at the Four Seasons are all far from the beach and on high ground making them safe from the effects of a storm surge - none received any damage from Hurricane Omar.

The resort building are all built close to the beach and on land that is below sea level - potential flooding from storm surges is always going to be a problem.
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Old Nov 12th, 2010, 06:24 AM
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A belated thank you for all the responses. We would be flying Atlanta to Miami to St. Kitts then taking the shuttle/water taxi to Four Seasons. Or, assuming flights from San Juan resume before our trip, would it make more sense to fly Atlanta to San Juan to Nevis? Anyone with thoughts on those 2 options?
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Old Nov 12th, 2010, 07:22 AM
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If you can fly SJU to NEV instead of MIA to SKB, do it. I personally avoid MIA if at all possible; I'd much rather go through customs and immigration at SJU ... in my opinion, MIA is that bad. (And it's been made even worse lately, since the distance from your arrival gate to passport control now includes the air train and seems to take a good 20 minutes just to get there... and after all of that, you'll still wait another 15 minutes or so for your luggage to arrive in customs.)
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Old Nov 12th, 2010, 07:36 AM
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First, it's doubtful American Eagle will resume flights from San Juan to Nevis anytime soon. The only quaisi-official announcement regarding the resumption of flights was a "wishful" comment made by the Nevis Premiere this past summer. Neither American Eagle or it's parent company American Airlines have made any official pronouncements.

That said, flights could resume once the Four Seasons is fully up and running (see below for further details) so you will just have to keep checking directly with the airline. We on the island have no clue at the present time and have to rely on the same rumors and grape vine comments as everyone else.

Assuming flights from SJU to NNEV resume it's difficult to answer your question "would it make more sense to fly Atlanta to San Juan to Nevis?" It all depends on the circumstances such as the flight schedules, your connecting time in SJU, cost, etc. Without knowing those details one can't make a true comparison. For instance, if flight schedules are such that you have to over night in SJU than obviously flying into SKB and taking the ferry, water taxi or 4S launch to NEV so you can get there in one day is a better choice. FYI - at one time AE had 2 daily flights to/from SJU but in more recent times there was only one flight and it left SJU to early for many people to make a same day connection. It makes no sense to speculate on what the schedule will be when and if flights resume. One can only wait.

Now for the NEWS I hinted about earlier. An article in today's Observer (the St. Kitts/Nevis weekly newspaper) reported the Four Seasons General Manager said in comments made to local area business owners at a meeting held on November 9 "Over US$14 million has been invested in refurbishing the resort and the rooms on the south side of the resort are scheduled to open on December 15 while the rooms on the north side will reopen in January 2011 (no specific date was mentioned). He further went on to say the entire resort will resume full operation by February 15 - one day after the resorts 21st anniversary.

This is as update information as we can get on Nevis.
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Old Nov 12th, 2010, 08:27 AM
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Not to sound contrarian but unlike Callaloo I've never had any difficulty connecting in MIA in either direction and I travel regularly (6 to 8 trips through that airport in any given year). While I don't find it any more or less difficult than SJU there are a lot more people.

True, there is generally a long walk from the plane to Immigration/Customs (but SJU also has a fairly long walk as do many other international airports throughout the world) but Immigration lines move quickly (I've never taken more than 10 minutes to clear Immigration and it's usually less). I do only carry-on so Customs is a breeze. We also use the TSA checkpoint in Terminal E rather than in Terminal D (where you are usually directed after leaving customs) since the lines there are usually very short. By and large our connection times in MIA are reasonable (50 to 75 minutes on the way down, 90 to 120 minutes on the return flight).

On those occasions where we've had to overnight in MIA we stayed in the MIA Airport Hotel located in Terminal E just opposite the TSA checkpoint - clean comfortable rooms and a decent restaurant. In the morning you simply walk about 200' to the TSA Checkpoint then on to your gate.

Anyway, I do agree that all things considered it is usually better to fly directly into your destination whenever possible (but in sweetandrew's case it may not be possible).
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Old Nov 12th, 2010, 09:28 AM
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RoamsAround, you're definitely allowed to have a contrary opinion! At the end of the day, C&I is not fun, regardless of where you land. But if something unplanned happens (as often seems to happen in my case), or if I need to stay overnight due to my routing, I personally would rather be in San Juan than Miami. (Not everyone shares my opinion, obviously.)
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Old Nov 12th, 2010, 09:31 AM
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RoamsAround, thanks for the "news" from the island, that is certainly very helpful. Why would anyone want to stay at a resort that is only half operational? It sounds more like they will be training for the first two months before the real open in February. Am i wrong?
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Old Nov 12th, 2010, 09:59 AM
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ppc1 - Are you wrong? Not necessarily!

The renovations to some of the rooms on the north side of the hotel are not yet complete and the recent spat of ground swells that has plagued all of the central and northern Leeward Islands over the past few weeks has delayed some of the beach replenishment work. For the most part you are talking about "rooms" that will not be ready on December 15 and a section of beach that still has some rough spots (which is true for most beaches around the island right now not resort facilities which for the most part should be fully operational (of course there's a bit of conjecture on my part).

That said, I believe the resort is offering special reduced room prices during the "soft opening period" as an incentive to draw guests. Attractive deals attract guests, especially those who otherwise might not be able to afford staying at a Four seasons Resort.

As for the staff, they have rehired a lot of the employees that were laid off due to the storm and are currently training the returnees as well as new additions. Four Seasons prides itself on offering exceptional service and I believe that will still be the case when they reopen.

Whether or not the Resort will meet every guest's standards between now and mid February is anyone's guess. I can only relate the facts as reported - you have to make the call!
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Old Dec 14th, 2010, 10:34 AM
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We are thinking of going to the FS in nevis in February, and I noticed that AA has brought back that flight from sanjuan?
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