In Nevis, you’ll find a special property that feels like a home away from home. It’s The Hermitage and, in fact, it’s the oldest wooden house on the island and notably one of the oldest such structures in the Caribbean. The main house is earthfast-constructed, meaning roofbearing timbers are in direct contact with the ground, not requiring a foundation. But solid it is. The great house is fashioned from the strongest wood known to man, Lignum vitae. The self-lubricating timber can withstand water and is as strong as steel. Other island homes built out of the same wood were dismantled and used in shipbuilding – it’s that tough, the stuff of legends. The family-run Hermitage is legendary in its own right and as soft and inviting as the structure is strong.
In 1971 the Lupinacci family from Quakertown, Pennsylvania, first turned the property into a home. Richard Lupinacci, Sr. had worked throughout the islands for a major U.S. bank and fell in love with the long-neglected property. They welcomed 59 visitors that first year: friends and family (Richard is one of ten children and wife Maureen one of five). Although they still traveled through-out the islands, in 1979 the family decided to settle permanently at the house, which by that time had been fully restored by local carpenters, alongside additional guest houses sourced from around the island or built from scratch in traditional Caribbean architectural vernacular.
These charming cottages rim the main house and tiered gardens, adding a fairytale feel. The Hermitage sits right at the base of Mount Nevis, ensuring glorious vistas and breezes. So much history and oozing with charm. The Blue House, one of the choicest accommodations, is actually built on the foundation of the original kitchen.
Sip rum on the great house verandah or tucked in at the cozy wooden bar…grab a cocktail from Romeo and don’t be surprised if wild donkeys and green vervet monkeys wander onto the property. Bring a good book, relax by the pool or in a hammock and enjoy an old-world vacation experience with family-style hospitality with the Lupis to the hilt! Insider’s tip: try to stay over a Wednesday night when a pig roast is hosted right on the lawn. hermitagenevis.com
Subscribe to Swanky Retreats Magazine’s DIGITAL version. Read the latest issue online or download it to your computer.