Checking In: Jade Mountain, St. Lucia
Precious few places exist where a visitor experiences another world. Nick Troubetzkoy's Jade Mountain is one of them.
I had the pleasure of visiting Jade Mountain in July. Set high atop Morne Chastanet, Jade Mountain is a dazzling work of art by visionary architect and designer, Nick Troubetzkoy. Managed in partnership with his wife and family, guests immediately feel that they have arrived in a special place.
The property is a kaleidoscopic creation. As befits such a destination, Jade Mountain operates on its own terms: Rooms are Sanctuaries; Pathways connecting the main structure to the mountainside are Bridges to Infinity; Major Domos are trained by the British Guild of Butlers; Hardwoods used around the property have names like Greenheart, Locust, Kabukali, Etikburabali, Futukbali, Mora, and Cabbage.
Jade Mountain is an almost entirely self-supported world that exists in the middle of 600 tropical acres of undeveloped jungle. The hotel is one of only a handful of AAA 5 Diamond resorts in the Caribbean, and yet it lacks that pretension that can be present larger properties. Every detail is considered. Each sanctuary is unique. Extensive collaborations with artists and designers around the world ensure that features large and small are thoughtfully taken into account and developed to have beauty in character.
Sanctuaries have completely open floor plans. Inside each space, an infinity pool takes the place of a fourth wall, providing completely unobstructed views, stage-like, of St. Lucia’s Pitons, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The view will leave you breathless.
You can find no better dining experience than that at Jade Mountain Club. Since 2007, Emerald Estate, the hotel's private farm, has been growing organic produce. James Beard Award winner Chef Allen Susser crafts amazing, fresh, farm-to-table cuisine from a variety of vegetables, micro-greens, salads, nuts, spices, herbs, and now chocolate grown on the farm. Small-scale and organic, the farm is managed by a creative academic who has led efforts to install an apiary, mushroom cultivation, and more.
Rumor has it, an orchid house is next.
The hotel offers an array of activities, including scuba diving, private sunset sailing, visits to surrounding farms and villages, and a hike to the summit of Gros Piton, a UNESCO Heritage Site.
During my stay, I visited the island's crater volcano and mineral baths, hiked to a beautiful waterfall, mountain biked through jungle and former plantation sites, and relaxed under a thatched umbrella on one of the property's two beaches. Each morning, I explored jogging routes along the 8 miles of stunningly beautiful trails. One afternoon, I was treated to a massage in my sanctuary. I fell asleep on the table listening to the tinkle of water filtering from the pool's infinity edge.
The mornings I was there, it rained briefly. From behind the delicate netting of my four-poster bed I could hear raindrops falling on the jungle forest between myself and the Pitons. I was lulled back to sleep by the harmonious pitter-patter.
Jade Mountain is a dream. For the duration of a stay, guests live in a fantasy, where rooms are sanctuaries, service is exceptional, and barriers between what's in and out are non-existent. The place is a whimsical paradise of complete relaxation.
Getting to Jade Mountain takes effort. Vehicle transfers take you off the island's two-lane highway and up a single narrow, unpaved jungle road. Virgin tendrils dance lazily in view as you ascend, sometimes at 45-degrees. The journey rewards those who make it with a mesmerizing trip to one of the world's most private escapes.
Virtuoso Amenities: In booking with us, clients receive a warm welcome and VIP treatment, in addition to the following complimentary amenities: Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability; Continental breakfast daily, for up to two in room guests; $100 USD Equivalent Spa Services credit, to be utilized during stay (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full); Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability; Complimentary Wi-Fi.
When to Go: Jade Mountain and her sister resort, Anse Chastanet, are open year round. Special rates and amenities are offered throughout the year, especially June and July and October and November.
How to Get There: Daily flights to Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) operate from New York, Atlanta, and Miami. From the international airport, guests have the option of taking a private transfer (1.5 hours drive) or opting for a very scenic 15-minute helicopter ride directly to the helipad on property.
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