MDescapes: Introducing Physician Exclusive Rewards

As the President of Physicians Office Resource (POR), I am fortunate to have the opportunity to talk regularly with physicians, administrators and other healthcare providers about the business of running a practice. Today's environment is unlike anything that has preceded it and one refrain I hear repeatedly is it's not as fun as it used to be. The other is what happened to the rewards?

It is precisely with that sentiment in mind that I am proud to announce the launch of MDescapes, a new service from POR.  MDescapes will feature luxury travel discounts exclusively for our readers and our website visitors. These discounts are substantial and very often are above and beyond any offers provided by the resort, hotel or airline. Our goal with MDescapes is to reward you for your work and to bring back a little bit of the fun of being a physician and being in healthcare.

Our first featured resort is the Four Seasons Nevis West Indies. I personally selected this resort because I have been there three times and hope there will be a fourth. It would be predictable to speak of the overall beauty of the island and resort itself. The luxurious rooms, villas and main facilities are comfortable and inviting. As you enter the great room of the main building, you are greeted with the open floor plan, no windows or doors, just the unencumbered view of luxurious pools, tropical gardens and ocean. We originally stayed in one of the spacious suites, beautifully appointed with signature comfort. As our family grew, the necessity for one of their lovely two story villas was evident for our next encounter. The request by one of my daughters to live at the residence indefinitely was unfortunately denied.

We took advantage of the many onsite recreational options. The resort can boast 10 tennis courts, four red clay and six hard courts, some of which are lighted for evening play. We participated in some tennis clinics and mixers (winning a coveted champion t-shirt.) We took advantage of the great health club facility and enjoyed yoga classes outside under an outdoor pavilion. Being an avid golfer, the Robert Trent Jones II course was worth every ball lost along the beautifully scenic but challenging track. The course is laid out to appreciate the slopes and vistas along with the historical ruins and beautiful vegetation. Lounging on the side of one of the three beautiful infinity pools was time well spent.

The scents and sounds, tastes and smells of the island resort are a palpable. The smell of Bvlgari Verde soaps and bath products furnished by the resort have such a wonderful aroma, my wife purchased the actual perfume when we returned home as a way to "smell like Nevis." The natural smells of the flora are alluring as well. The sound of the mysterious owls, crickets and unknown creatures that live in the thickly grown jungle make a melodic memory that has yet to be erased from our minds. The sounds of any steel drums instantly remind me of my family dancing under the stars, spinning my daughters as they dance on their tip toes, for our ritual nightly entertainment. The touch of the sheets on our comfortable bed, the mist of the Avian water that they spray on your face, the softness of towels they wrap around your cabana lounge chair, all a "touch" of gracious service provided by the staff.

The Four Seasons culinary cuisine is renowned and this island getaway meets that standard. With four restaurants to choose from and a prestigious AAA five diamond accreditation, selecting a favorite taste from our visits now proves to be difficult. For my oldest it was the breakfast buffet with new items every day and every fruit you can imagine. For my son it was definitely the varied soufflé choices, which he enjoyed one of daily, sometimes two, "What is warm Grand Marnier sauce dad? I really like it." For me it was the soup. Strange isn't it? Incredible cuisine and outstanding service, is exactly what you imagine from this premier property in the Caribbean, but to fall in love with the soup? The chef would combine two or three of the most odd ingredients and turn it into perfection. He would use the locals produce and products to help with the island economy and turn something as random as lobster, mango and goat cheese into one of the best things you have ever tasted. My wife and I never passed up on the soup de jour, no matter how strange it sounded and we were never disappointed.

Visually, the beauty of the resort and island will never be erased. The dormant volcano Nevis Peak, its name meaning Our Lady of the Snows, represents the focal point of the island's beauty. The top of the peak is often covered by clouds or "the snows." When you have a day that the top of the Nevis peak is clear, it's like the island is giving you a beautiful gift. The vistas in every direction are so breathtaking, it's difficult to describe which is a favorite. The resort faces west so that the setting sun adds additional splendor to the beauty that surrounds you. I'd have to say the sensory cache reached its pinnacle during a private dinner arranged by the staff for our anniversary. Twilight, under a cabana on the beach, candles lit, soft music playing, personalized and dated menus to commemorate, fantastic service with an exceptional meal, a very romantic setting and as I recall a very happy wife.

The experience that is Nevis begins with a 25-minute boat ride across the strand, arriving onto a dock with a welcoming staff waiting. The expression "So much to do, so little time" perfectly describes the quandary of the Nevisian adventure. We climbed up and into the rain forest on the volcano and learned so many things about the medicinal plants, trees and the island itself. We took a tour around the entire island, seeing the villages where the islanders live and learned of its history and toured the shops in quaint Charlestown. We took a catamaran and snorkeled off the coastline, rode horses on Pinney's beach and went on a "Green monkey tour" at sunset. When the toughest decision of the day is choosing which aromatherapy I would have during my massage at the award-winning spa, that's a nice problem to have. The kids enjoyed the kayaks, sunfish sailboats, bon fires, stargazing on the beach, the Kids for All Seasons club and all the activities attached to that program including the nesting turtle educational program. The overall quality of the Four Seasons experience has always exceeded our expectations.

What is not expected are the special people. Our family was confident we would love our stay at this beautiful resort, but we didn't anticipate our love for the people we encountered on and off the property. The Nevisians are so warm and genuine. We shared sweet exchanges with many and enjoyed friendships with a few. Not only did we remember Mac kee, Director of Recreation, but he remembered us and even the nickname he gave my son years earlier. One of the sweetest memories I have, occurred on our last day. The breakfast staff enjoyed getting to know our family of seven during our two week stay. As we arrived at our usual table to be seated prior to boarding the boat to leave the island, we found our servers had placed on our seats, an individual gift for each of us. They had purchased the gifts in Charlestown and wrapped each one up with a note for every family member saying how much they enjoyed knowing us during our visit. We were overwhelmed with emotion. The gifts were small in comparison to the enormous heart attached. We may never encounter people with more generosity in spirit than those on this small island in the West Indies. That was unpredictable.

As a family we sat on the sandy beach and watched the sun slowly set on the beautiful water, the lights of the sister island of St. Kitts twinkled in the distance, the palms of the trees moved slightly on the tropical breeze. My youngest daughter asked me if this was what heaven would feel like? I smiled, as I was thinking the exact same thing. I predict another trip in the near future.

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