Great hotels for your winter and 2013 vacation plans (Part I)

Each year Conde Nast Traveler publishes a list of the best travel services in the world. Personal thoughts after visiting several hotels and resorts on the list. Photo: Nisbet Plantation

CHARLOTTEOctober 27, 2012 – Each year when Conde Nast Traveler publishes its Top 100, Best in the World list, I make a beeline to the story to see if I have visited any of the selected hotels and destinations.

This year there were nine properties mentioned in the Caribbean, Europe and the United Kingdom that I can personally recommend.

This week we will begin in the places that face a perpetual sun in the Carbbean and Central America.

Caribbean Resorts:


Nisbet Plantation, Nevis (Photo: Nisbet Plantation)

Plantation Beach Club (Nevis) – The first thing you notice when you arrive at Nisbet Plantation Beach Club is the palm tree-lined avenue of lawn that leads to the beach.

It was actually a working plantation in the late 1700s when Captain Horatio Nelson met “Fanny” Nisbet for the first time. They were married in 1787 at Fig Tree Church on Nevis, and the log of the wedding remains in the church today.

Columbus discovered Nevis in 1493 and thought the clouds that almost always hover at the crest of Nevis Peak looked like snow. Eventually, like so many places in the region, the property was first a sugar plantation and later a coconut plantation.

Nisbet Plantation was purchased by current owner, David Dodwell in 1989. The 30 acre resort still resembles a plantation today blending all the charm of its historical past with modern comfort and convenience. As one of the few beachfront properties on Nevis, it was rated the best Caribbean resort in the Conde Nast Traveler rankings and was among the magazine’s Top 100 hotels and resorts in the world.

Caribbean Hotels:

The Sands at Grace Bay (Turks & Caicos) –

The Sands is pure relaxation (Photo: Taylor)

The Sands at Grace Bay in Providenciales is one of the best places to stay.

The Sands features a pool-lined garden nestled between two rows of elegant, spacious accommodations that leads to a 12-mile stretch of silky soft, white sand beach. You will not find larger, more comfortable rooms anywhere in the region and most include a small kitchen, washer and dryer, HDTV, huge balconies and free Wi-Fi.

Hemingway’s Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the day, featuring island specialties such as fresh conch just about any way you like it and jerk chicken.

Beach at the Sands, TCI (Photo: Taylor)

The Sands offers many complimentary amenities such as bicycles, kayaks, beach towels and a Tuesday evening cocktail party at the pool. There is also a spa and a variety of optional tours that can be arranged. With snorkeling, scuba diving, beach horseback riding, parasailing, spelunking and other activities available.

Central & South America Resorts:

The Lodge at Chaa Creek Lodge (Belize) –

Thatched roof luxury, Chaa Creek (Photo: Taylor)

When Mick and Lucy Fleming arrived in Belize in 1977, they had no idea they would soon be developing an eco-friendly paradise in the heart of the Central American jungle.

Chaa Creek Lodge in Belize bills itself as “wildly civilized” and that describes it to a tee. The range of activities from nature walks, birding, horseback riding, canoeing on the Macal River, not to mention visits to ancient Mayan archeological sites is seemingly endless.

Mick has also developed an organic garden which supplies much of the fresh food in the restaurant, a butterfly farm and an environmentally designed swimming pool that constantly recycles the water. All of this magically combines thatched room charm and elegance with a respect for the environment that is truly unique.

Environmental pool, Chaa Creek (Photo: Taylor)

It doesn’t take long to realize how artfully the Flemings have ingeniously adapted a contemporary resort within an ecological environment that allows man and nature to exist in harmony. That concept is what makes Chaa Creek so unique and just one of the reasons why it so richly deserves to be on the Conde Nast list.

Travelers and readers who want to see if their favorite hotels and resort made the Conde Nast list.

To view pictures of the Top 100 hotels and resorts in the world according to Conde Nast Traveler 

 To read more about The Sands at Grace Bay or The Lodge at Chaa Creek, check The Communities @WashingtonTimes archives.

Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in Charlotte, NC. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club, which creates, and escorts customized tours to Switzerland, France and Italy for groups of 12 or more. Inquiries for groups can be made at Taylored Media has produced marketing videos for British Rail, Rail Europe, Switzerland Tourism, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Swiss Travel System and Japan Railways Group among others. As author of The Century Club book, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 70 countries. Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want to know where he has been, check his list on Facebook. Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries. He also played professional baseball for four years and was a sportscaster for 14 years at WBTV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club ( and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.


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