“If your man chose this hotel, I would marry him,” declared Sunshine, the appropriately named taxi driver who recently deposited a group of millennial New Yorkers at the Golden Rock Inn, in Nevis. Hyperbolic? Perhaps, but the enthusiasm for this charming boutique hotel is justified. Brice and Helen Marden, Golden Rock’s owners, enlisted designer Ed Tuttle (known for his work with the Aman Resorts hotel group) and landscape architect Raymond Jungles to renovate a former sugar estate into a sprawling stone hamlet in the thick of a botanical garden. The hotel occupies a 100-acre hilltop site, and its 11 spare but cozy cottages are dispersed along cobbled paths. It’s not located directly on the water, but no matter—the 50-foot spring-fed pool is a delight, and the nearest beach is a short drive away.
There are plenty of reasons to stay put in the hotel’s lively, colorful interiors. Moroccan rugs and modern art abound, and guest rooms are stocked with printed dressing gowns, striped towels, beach baskets, and cheerful hats. Friendly monkeys lounge freely in the gardens near the Rocks, the hotel’s restaurant—but not to worry, as staff will be happy to replenish your pancakes should a few go missing. For lunch and dinner, the chef will almost always recommend the lobster—just go with it. And if you appreciate rum-centric cocktails, enjoy them with abandon in the pavilion, where you can fully appreciate the sparkling views of nearby Antigua and Montserrat. —Elena Clavarino