“Montpelier history dates back to 1687 when Sir Hans Sloane, Secretary of the Royal Society of England and a doctor, visited Nevis and discovered this location. A hundred years later, history gave this small Caribbean island prominence far beyond its size. Although many epic battles were orchestrated from Montpelier, this estate became famous for love. Montpelier Plantation witnessed the marriage of Horatio Nelson, famous for his service in the Royal Navy, to Frances “Fanny” Nisbet, niece of the president of Nevis, John Herbert.” — Montpelier Plantation & Beach
The Montpelier Plantation & Beach has seen a few things in its time. This is a place full of magic, full of stories dating back to the earliest days of British colonialism. A place of enormous wealth generation through subjugation and slavery. A place where countless souls passed through, some forever famous, most forever anonymous. This sugar plantation in the hills of Nevis doesn’t just whisper history, it reverberates history, and at times wrote it.
There is a weeping fig tree greeting you as you enter the grounds that appears to be as old as the plantation. I’m told it was planted in 1966, apparently a very good year for vibrant growth. The tree has thrived, and is one of the most iconic things you’ll encounter here. But not the only thing. Just a few steps away are the ruins of the old sugar mill, prominently declaring the darker history of the plantation, even as it offers a beautiful backdrop for photographs and private meals within.
Walking around the quiet, meticulously landscaped grounds, you quickly realize why so many famous people have flocked here, most famously Princess Diana after her divorce from Charles. This is a place to escape from the world and all its madness. When you’re here you separate yourself from timelines altogether, and immerse yourself in something beyond the immediacy of your own life. It’s a place to reset and revise your story.
It should be mentioned that the food is extraordinary here, exceeding expectations for fine dining. It’s accompanied by excellent service from a friendly staff who know just how to make a moment special. You feel a sense of place here, and become a part of it with your visit. The Montpelier Plantation can be thought of as a time machine, or maybe it should be thought of as a timeless wonder.