Help -- Nevis or St. John and Kids

May 28th, 2008, 07:08 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4
Help -- Nevis or St. John and Kids

Hi there,

After reading this incredibly informative forum, I have become somewhat overwhelmed in making my vacation decision. So I decided to turn to you for help.

We are planning a family vacation at the end of June/beg. of July (an 8 month infant and toddler in tow) and have narrowed our choices to Nevis (Nisbet or the 4S) and St. John (Caneel Bay). Based on what I have read (and what me and my husband would ideally like on this trip), we would choose Nevis/Nisbet, but since we now have to think of our little ones, we're somewhat confused. We're coming from Miami, so Caneel Bay is very convenient flight wise. Our concern is that there will not be much to entertain our toddler other than the beach (when we traveled to the Bahamas, what he liked the most was tooling around in a golf cart on Harbour Island and seeing people)and can't really tell if a loud toddler will stand out at the resort. I'm not sure if this is a correct assessment.

As to Nevis, we were going to fly in non-stop from Miami to St. Kitts and take the ferry - don't know if that's a pain with two kids and all the stuff that goes with them. We would choose Nisbet (local, quaint) hands down, but it seems from reading that FS is more family friendly and that the beach is calmer for kids with more beach toys,etc. Nisbet has that early seating for dinner for kids (which leads me to believe that kids may not be as welcome as FS) and the beach doesn't seem as swimmable and it looks like you have to walk further to get to the beach. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated. Thanks.

Nicobel is offline  
May 28th, 2008, 08:15 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,506
Nisbet is a very nice resort but it is not particularily "child friendly". Now before other contributors jump all over me and tell you that "they've been there" with infants and todlers and had a great time I wannt to point out that I am not to implying they don't like children but rather the resort is not geared toward those with very young children as it is very much an adult's resort. The beach at Nisbet, while picturesque, can be very wavy and depending on recent currents can be rocky - certainly not condusive for todlers playng along the shore. That said, Herbet's Beach which is several hundred yards north of Nisbet has an area of much calmer waters.

Personally, if you can afford the price tag Four Seasons would be a much better choice than Nisbet. They are a very family friendly resort. If you are looking for a lower priced resort consider Oualie Beach. While it is not in the same class as Four Seasons or Nisbet the beach there is perfect for todlers as it's the calmest and shallowest on the island.

Flying into St. Kitts from Miami is a breeze and you can easily take the ferry to Nevis, however, you will have some "waiting time" at the ferry dock as the ferry schedule doesn't always dovetail with airline flight schedules. If you decided to stay at the Four Seasons consider signing up for their VIP "meet & greet" program. You'll be met at the airport in St. Kitts, escorted to the Four Season's private launch for the trip to Nevis. You'll be dropped off at the resort's dock (vs. in Charlestown if you take the ferry) where they will take you by golf cart to your room. They will handle your luggage from the time you clear customs till you get to your room. You'll reverse the process for your return trip. It's the most efficient way for you to get to/from the airport to the resort - well worth the extra cost.

Having told you all that, with a todler and an infant in tow I'd be more inclined to go to Caneel Bay rather than Four Seasons or Nisbet. You'll have your choice of 7 different calm water beaches where your todler can play in the sand and water without any major concerns on your part.

RoamsAround is offline  
May 28th, 2008, 09:55 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 150
Caneel Bay allows children but it is set up as more of an adult resort than a family resort. At least a few of the 7 beaches are adult only do not allow children.
CathyF is offline  
May 28th, 2008, 09:56 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2
Look into St Lucia's Coconut Bay.
I know it's not on your list but it is EXTREMELY family friendly and it's all-inclusive.

I took my 1 yo there two weekends ago and there was so much to do. There's a lazy river, slides (he was too small but the husband liked that), a kid's club, a 0 entry pool, and a plung pool right on site.

There's a buffet serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with incredible food (I'm not big on buffets) which helps when feeding a toddler who decides to be picky.

There's live music in the evenings and a little area for the kids to dance, grown ups are welcome to dance as well.

Very family friendly. We had a blast and there wasn't a time when it seemed the other guests were annoyed that we had a child with us.

There were other children to play with and plenty to do. There's a beach with nice sand right there too.

For the adults there is a swim up bar and it even serves kid friendly drinks like the Sponge Bob and the Power Puff Girl. Both were good

I can't respond about Nevis or St John, sorry since that's what you asked for, but St Lucia is in the Caribbean as well and I would take my family back to Coconut Bay in an instant. Seemed that was the general feeling with the other parents I spoke with as well.
Tiger_Eye is offline  
May 28th, 2008, 04:05 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4
Thank you very much for your replies. We're now leaning towards FS in Nevis instead of Nisbet.
Nicobel is offline  
May 28th, 2008, 06:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Phew - that saves me a long post that I was formulating while reading your post

The beach at Nisbet is not good for children - although I am sure you would love the rest of the resort, perhaps you should bear it in mind for a future (no children) vacation.

Perhaps a trip there for lunch (with your children) might help, or if you stay at FS, book a babysitter and go there for dinner.

We did that with FS on our first trip to Nevis and decided that for us (no children) Nisbet was perfect.

I contemplate Caneel for a future trip but the quality of the rooms deters me - but hey, how much time do you spend in your room? The beaches look amazing
alya is offline  
May 29th, 2008, 06:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 145
We went to Nevis last June and stayed at Nisbet. We enjoyed the food at Nisbet, but our daughters, (ages 5 & 17) really enjoyed the 4S beach.
turtlegirl is offline  
May 29th, 2008, 06:23 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4
Thanks (although we really liked Nisbet, we will leave it until we can go without the kids).

How about Oualie Beach? My husband and I aren't usually 4S-type resorts especially in the Caribbean, we like smaller and more local places. My concern is ease and comfort in light of our kids (8 months and 2 years) and trying to reduce the "stress" on me. Also the price differential is big one, even off season. Any thoughts again are appreciated!

Also, can you rent car seats at the rental agencies in Nevis? I wasn't sure what the practice was.

Thanks for any replies.
Nicobel is offline  
May 29th, 2008, 07:08 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,506
In terms of quality of rooms, service, etc. Oualie Beach Resort is a couple of "steps" down from Nisbet so don't expect "upscale luxury". The rooms are of decent size and basically furnished. They are all located in close proximity (50' to 100') to the beach which has the calmest and shallowest water on the island (perfect for toddlers and young children). The resort has an "on site" Dive Operator, Watersports (Kayaks, Hobie Cats), Fishing Charters and Catamaran Tours. There's also a "hands on" marine biology exhibit ( that is a must see for children and adults alike. Because of it's location and room rates Oualie Beach Resort is very popular with families having young children. As long as you are not expecting 4-star service and amenities Oualie Beach will probably meet your needs.

Yes, you can rent car seats on the island. Striker's Car Rental (869-469-2654) has plenty and rents them by the day, week or month.
RoamsAround is offline  
May 29th, 2008, 07:30 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 244
Qualie is on a lot.

This opportunity is gone in 1 hour but they will probably have another opportunity within a few days. I just looked at it quickly but it looks like you can stay for under $75 per night. Skyauction is reputable and I always wanted to try it but with school age children, we just aren't flexible enough. Check it out!
lovethecape is offline  
May 29th, 2008, 09:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 111
I don't have any experience with Nevis yet, but we're taking our two kids (5 and 8) to St. Kitts/Nevis in November. After much research, we booked @ Oualie Beach(they're super-responsive and helpful via email...a bonus!) and planned two excursions with Barbara at Under the Sea. =)

Best of Luck!
travelhappyfamily is offline  
May 29th, 2008, 04:52 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 627
Just got back from Oualie a week ago. Definitely not the 4S or Nisbet. It was fine, just don't expect anything remotely luxurious. Oualie Bay is very calm, and very shallow for quite a ways out.

I'm writing my trip report and will post it by this weekend. If you have to make a decision before then, I can post what I've written so far, along with my photos.
mymoosie is offline  
May 29th, 2008, 04:57 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 627
Forgot to add that we got Oualie via skyauction. I don't know if they still have a reserve price, but when we did our bidding, there was a reserve. I'm guessing it was $100... I've been tracking skyauction for a couple of months and I've been seeing Oualie offered quite a few times.
mymoosie is offline  
May 29th, 2008, 06:27 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4
Thank you all so much for your replies, it really is helping us make an "informed" decision. At this point, my husband is more inclined towards FS and I'm leaning towards Oualie -- not sure of the outcome yet, but I will let you know. I look forward to reading mymoosie's trip report.
Nicobel is offline  
May 30th, 2008, 05:20 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 133
I'm generally a FS fan but really disliked the FS in Nevis. I really loved Nevis -- very gracious and laid-back. But there is absolutely nothing "local" about the Four Seasons there. When we were there, in fact, they had "guards" stationed on the beach to dissuade non-guests from coming onto "their" beach. I was married to a BVIslander at the time and lived in the Caribbean and we found the whole attitude pretty offensive.

We were on Nevis for almost a week and had planned to spend the weekend of my birthday at FS as a splurge but very happily moved back to the Hermitage after one night.

Islanders, in general, love kids and I bet the staff, wherever you go, will be welcoming and helpful. It's actually the other guests that may have an "attitude" and, to be brutally frank, I think Americans tend to be the worst in this. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, don't assume that the big resorts marketed mostly to Americans are going to be the most "kid friendly".

By the way, both Nevis and St. John are mostly about beaches, whether you're an adult or a toddler. I also think you'll find calmer, more gradual beaches on St. John.
sumi is offline  

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