THE HISTORY OF HERMITAGE
The Greathouse of The Hermitage is reputedly the oldest wooden building in the Caribbean. It dates to around 1670 – tobacco, ginger and nutmeg were the original crops of the plantation and later sugar became the sole crop. Horatio Nelson was undoubtedly a visitor when on Nevis. The Pemberton family lived here for nearly 300 years but when the sugar industry collapsed and the Pemberton’s ran out of sons and money the property was broken up.
In 1971 the Lupinacci family of Philadelphia bought the land and a jungle-claimed ruin. They planned to tear the old ruin down, but a local carpenter told them that the framing was made of Lignum Vitae – one of the hardest of woods – and that the house was recoverable. Over the next few years the property was cleared and the Greathouse restored. The family moved to Nevis in 1983 and Hermitage began to evolve into an inn. Local chattel houses were reclaimed and moved to the property, buildings converted to rooms and cottage reproductions began to rise.
The Hermitage is a true Caribbean gem. A fascinating mixture of cultures has created the warmest of atmospheres in the most traditional of settings.
Nevis Peak is the backdrop to the lush tropical gardens which house the traditional gingerbread cottages with each different from another but all with a character and charm of their own. We love these cottages – their names conjure up their atmosphere – Stable House, Treetops, Goose Pen as well as the impressive Manor House.
The Hermitage exists today because of the dedication and vision of Richard & Maureen Lupinacci who have lovingly restored these 17th century buildings and added more in traditional style. Their charming son Richie is now the driving force at Hermitage and he is a fierce defender of the tradition of Hermitage and of Nevis.
Guests enjoy a unique, friendly atmosphere here – what better way to spend a day than relaxing by the pool or exploring the island – before returning for a drink in the marvellous bar followed by dinner prepared by the wonderful local chefs. This is a remarkable place.