By Ben KilbeyMontpelier Plantation Inn is a romantic hideaway located 750 feet above the Caribbean Sea on the island of Nevis. This small luxury hotel has accommodations in 17 newly renovated rooms and is considered to be one of the finest resorts in the Caribbean. It is managed by the Hoffman family who tend to the luxurious resort with true affection and a desire to create the ultimate Caribbean experience. Located on the beautiful and true Caribbean island of Nevis - the plantation inn aches back to a time that many have forgot. In this exclusive interview Lincoln Hoffman tells CTN the secret to success and what truly sets this incredible inn apart.What is it that sets Montpelier Plantation Inn apart from other boutique hotels in the Caribbean?
Montpelier is a family owned and managed small luxury boutique hotel where we can personally ensure that our guests obtain personalised service in all aspects of the hotel where they should. 48 staff members (there are just 17 rooms which means roughly two staff per room) work very diligently in favour of excellent guest care.
How crucial has the Internet been in promoting Montpelier Plantation Inn to a global audience? Would you say it is a vital took for survival in this industry in this day and age?
The Internet is used be nearly everyone who stays with us. Some do their research on it and then call an agent/tour operator to book their stay while others call us directly to book. Internet use will continue to grow and different people will utilize it in various ways (that is some to do just research and others to book online.)
What are your views on Internet tools such as Virtual Tours? Do you feel they are a tool that can enhance the way in which your product can be sold?
Download time and accurate presentation of the property is key to a virtual tour. If both are executed correctly then it can be a very important tool.
How well does The Sugar Shop fare - do you find many guests picking up a gift or two before departing?
Having a gift shop on property is a convenience for all of our guests who are looking for something very special to take back home.
Is it true that at your restaurants you have three Nevisian and three European chefs? It is an interesting combination being fair and democratic, do you feel that this blend greatly enhances the level of food on offer?
Yes. The diversity of experiences in the kitchen contributes to the varied and interesting daily menus, which blend European style with Caribbean influences. The menus draw upon the chef’s diverse backgrounds. The chefs use only the finest and freshest ingredients many of which are grown on property as the hotels market and herb gardens, in the sugar cane field and on the fruit trees. The dinner menus which change daily feature a selection of international dishes and always feature a vegetarian option.
Tell us a little of the history of Montpelier.
Montpelier is a historic sugar plantation where Captain Horatio Nelson married a local schoolgirl, Fanny Nisbet in 1787. The main building of the hotel was built in 1964 on the footprint of the old sugar boiling house and warehouse. It is the original stone reclaimed from the ruin and rubble of the former buildings. Two none-pound cannons sit on either side of the front door. They were cast in England by John Fuller in 1696 and were transported to Nevis shortly thereafter to be used in the fortification of the island and to replace the cannons destroyed French during their occupation of Nevis. They were salvaged out of the sea during the reconstruction of the hotel in the 1960’s.
The 18th Century sugar mill which can be seen today on thee property and which was operational until 1933 was converted to an intimate restaurant by the Hoffmans in 2003
The plantation ruins were rebuilt into an Inn during the early 1960’s and sold by the original owners to the Hoffman family in April ‘02. Since thenwe have made extensive renovations to improve the quality of the hotel to meet the needs of the most discerning guests.
Whose idea was it to move the old Nevisian house down to Montpelier by the Sea?
We wanted to improve the service and ambiance at our private two-acre beach and felt this was a way of adding local colour and charm at the same time. We can now have beach BBQ’s.
For more information on Montpelier Plantation Inn visit www.montpeliernevis.com
For more information on Nevis visit www.nevisisland.com