The narrow dirt road rattles your bones to their very core and it’s only the glimpses of brilliant blue waters below and lush green rainforest above that give you any incentive to continue on this bumpy ride. But your efforts are soon rewarded as you pull into a unique vision; your new home nestled dramatically into a cliff.
It’s actually two resorts within one; Anse Chastanet is closer to the beach although still set high enough to offer a spectacular view but it is Jade Mountain, set way up high into the hills that causes your jaw to drop.
We pull into a large arrivals area, still a little battered and bruised from our unhappy journey but as our personal Major Domo (butler) meets to whisk us off to our room, nay sorry our sanctuary, the memories of the ride are already beginning to be nothing more than a bad dream.
There’s a sci-fi meets luxury feel to the resort, it’s as if the Jetsons have just dropped off to live on a small hill in St Lucia, the whole place has a feel of a tiered spaceship with long individual suspended bridges leading you directly to your personal sanctuary.
Room With A View
Once inside, I defy you to be able to keep your mouth from falling open. My sanctuary is a suite, but a suite with no fourth wall. There’s a king size four poster bed complete with romantically draped mosquito net, a private infinity pool which appears to drop off the edge of the cliff, subtly hidden facilities and a view to die for – the twin-peaked Piton mountains on one side and the glittering turquoise of the Caribbean sea on the other.
The lack of coherent words or sentences emerging from the husband and I don’t seem to bother our Major Domo, this is clearly a reaction he’s all too familiar with and instead he busies himself pointing out the necessary, handing us the Butler phone (Oh yes!) and whisking our luggage out of sight. He’s even on hand to unpack should you require, but in this ultimate of private sanctuaries, there’s very little requirement for me to ever leave my room and certainly no requirement at all to ever get dressed. The only things looking in are the resident tropical birds who like to take a drink out of the pool and there’s a water gun on hand to chase these interlopers off.
This paradise like surrounds do offer a bit of a quandary though – do we stay cocooned in our sanctuary and never leave or should we go out and explore every nook and cranny of this spaceship? In the end we opt for exploring – there’s just too much to see and do. We take a tour of the resort’s chocolate factory, a bona-fide bean to bar mini chocolate production, available for guests to experience and make their very own bars of chocolate! There are over 1,000 cocoa plants on the estate and Jade Mountain has its own exclusive brand of chocolate available, should you wish to simply get to the end result.
Life’s A Beach
Being in close proximity to world-class Caribbean beach offerings, there are no pools and so it’s straight on to the butler phone to hitch a ride down to Anse Chastanet beach, one of the resorts two beaches, for some lunch at the beach bar and a chance to burn off some of that chocolate through engaging in the endless water sports they have available. I am on holiday though so it’s a gentle snorkel around the resident reef to spot schools of fish and coral and then back beachside to enjoy a cocktail before the sun goes down.
Dinner that night is at the very top of the hill, in the beautifully situated Jade Mountain Club restaurant. I opt for the more international themed tapas selection with a selection of bacon-wrapped scallops, grilled shrimp and chicken tandoori where the Husband opts for the crab encrusted Surf & Turf, both of which are utterly delectable. You can opt for a drink at the Celestial terrace, gazing out towards the twin peaked Pitons or do as we did and simply opted to relax back in our sanctuary.
The next morning I woke early to the gentle breeze in my suite and the sounds of the birds chirping – the sights and sounds of nature are to be expected in a room with no walls, so make full use of the eye masks and ear plugs if you’d like to sleep in!
Breakfast, should you wish to emerge into the real world, is back at the Jade Mountain Club and along with some chocolatey cocoa tea, I kept in with the chocolate theme and had the most decadent start to the day with coconut encrusted Nutella French toast, it puts a bounce in my step and for this dish alone the chef deserves a medal.
If the lack of TV’s and phones and technologically related entertainments is causing cabin fever to settle in (And I can’t imagine why it would), there are endless other activities to engage in, sailing, mountain biking, hiking, spas to unwind in and even a whole week of culinary themed activities, which had I had enough time, would have my name all over it. But with only limited time till we had to depart this slice of paradise, we decided to venture out to the resorts second beach – the more secluded Anse Mamin.
Follow That Boat
The private boat taxi dropped us off and while we relaxed with ice cold drinks and burgers under the swaying palm trees, we watched staff set up for a castaway experience, involving a candlelight dinner under a palm tree hut on the beach, something they do for couples looking to dial up the romance factor even further. For the more energetic, you can set off on a guided walk through the jungle, but in the post-burger heat of the day, we’re happy enough gazing out to sea and admiring the view.
You can opt to take a water taxi back to the main resort and the staff will happily call you one, but it’s only a 10-minute scenic walk back and so we opted to burn off some of those burgers and take in the views along the coastline as we ambled back to the main resort action. Once back at the resorts, you can also opt to walk up the hill to your rooms but there’s a shuttle service that speeds its way up and down the hill pretty regularly and so armed with a butler phone, it’s nothing more than a minute’s wait to be escorted back to our sanctuary in style.
After many years of designing villas in St Lucia, inspiration struck Nick Troubetzkoy, Russian-Canadian architect and visionary and he was inspired to create Jade Mountain in 2006 and with his family run this and sister operation Anse Chastanet as their labour of love. It’s easy how it has climbed the ranks of the world’s most luxurious and unique hotel experiences, there simply is nothing else to compare.