Wow, where do I start? I was recently lucky enough to spend 48 hours in the world-famous Jade Mountain hotel in St Lucia, the haunt of some of the world’s best know celebrities and VIPs. You can imagine that I can beyond excited for some much needed ‘R&R’ in paradise.
On arrival, the first thing that struck me was the overwhelming noise of birdsong. This is quickly followed by a greeting from the enormously friendly staff who insist on doing everything for you, including unpacking your suitcase whilst you relax admiring the absolutely amazing, uninterrupted view of the Pitons. When I say amazing, that is an understatement.
Once arriving in our room I found myself just gazing at the Pitons for what seemed like an eternity. Then my thoughts moved to the complete lack of a 4th wall in the room. We were entirely open to the elements which, after coming from a very cold rainy London, seemed a little counter intuitive. I very soon got used to it however and quickly felt at one with the surroundings. Jade Mountain has been so cleverly designed that despite the seeming vulnerability to the elements, you are completely protected; it’s as if there is a hidden shield in place of the wall that is so effective that even the mosquitoes do not dare enter!
After a few minutes settling in, I then focused my attention on our private infinity pool. This pool is divine and what I found intriguing were the tiles that line it. I say intriguing as, when you look at them from different angles, and as the light changes throughout the day, the tiles change in colour. Each and everyone one of the different colours is wonderful (similar colour illusions can be seen throughout the resort). The design is genius, the colours breath-taking and the cool breeze blowing in from where the wall should be, so very refreshing.
As we had arrived just after lunch, it was then off to the beach for some swimming, exploring in snorkeling gear and sunbathing. The beach is a 5-10 minute walk down the hill from Jade Mountain, although a transfer is available both up and down at any time. After our flight we needed the exercise so a walk it was, and in any case, there are many other interesting things to see en-route including the lovely little rooms and suites of Anse Chastenet, Jade Mountain’s sister resort.
Once we got to the beach we quickly jumped in the glistening Caribbean sea. The sea temperature was perfect and the water crystal clear. Although you can snorkel from the beach (which I would highly recommend), we also joined a group of other guests and took a short boat ride to go snorkelling at the foot of the closer Piton. The sights were incredible and the abundance of many, many pretty fish of varying shapes and sizes was remarkable. The highlight for me however was seeing a young turtle, something that I’ve never before seen in the wild; a great and memorable experience.
We lazed around on the beach until early evening, at which point it was time to go back to our heavenly room and to decide where to go for dinner. On our first night we chose the Jade Mountain Club. This is located on the second top floor and has views which surpass those of the rooms below it. The food, wine, service and ambiance are all exceptional and the lovely sea breeze and serenity made the experience ever the more special.
On our second night and as it was my birthday, we had drinks watching the sun setting over the fiery red horizon. We then had a private dinner on the aptly named Celestial Terrace, an incredibly romantic experience. The Celestial Terrace is above the Jade Mountain Club so the views even more spectacular. With darkness now upon us our eyes were directed upwards towards the bewitching starlit heavens. After some time admiring the clear night sky it was time to head back to our sanctuary and unwind some more, if that was at all possible.
The view from the breakfast area is as good as, if not better than, the view from the room and we constantly found ourselves ordering another coffee just so we could look at it some more. The menu had something for everyone from Organic Gluten free oatmeal, a detox breakfast, to the ‘Top Sellers’ which included the “Chef’s 60 Minute poached Eggs”. Sadly as we were only staying for four days, I didn’t get to try the things I wanted to on the menu (always a great sign) but I certainly hope I will get the chance to come back and try some more!
After breakfast, we went for a proper look around the resort and one thing that really stood out for me was the design; the materials and the vibrant, every-changing colours everywhere. Although, I don’t know who wouldn’t enjoy Jade Mountain, it is an architect’s and artist’s utopia. What Nick Troubetzkoy has created here is an absolute masterpiece. The design is flawless, the use of space ingenious and the positioning of the rooms to make the most of the magnificent views is an absolute credit to his skill.
Yasha, Nick and Karolin’s son, who has also inherited his parents’ acumen, has set up a venture within the premises of Jade Mountain. Yasha has started a chocolate making business and we were lucky enough to be shown around the Chocolate Laboratory, a marvellous creation that even Willy Wonka would be proud of, and to try many of Yasha’s delicious organic chocolates, some of which are used in the Jade Mountain desserts.
Jade Mountain is dedicated to offering fresh, organic, home-grown produce wherever possible. We were shown around the resorts’ organic Emerald Estate Farm in the Soufriere Hills to learn about the mango tree and the great variety of other organic produce grown on the estate, including: vanilla beans, bay leaf, nutmeg trees and cinnamon trees
Mangos are especially loved by the St. Lucians and more than 24 different types of this exotic, locally celebrated fruit are grown on the island. We learnt that to celebrate this, the hotel has declared June ‘The Month of Mango.’ Guests staying at Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet will be lead on a journey of mango madness with the resorts’ on-site mango guru and consulting chef, Allen Susser. Spokesman for the National Mango Board and the author of The Great Mango Book, Chef Allen will show guests hundreds of methods to eat and use this tropical fruit. There will be weekly mango tastings, spectacular six-course gourmet mango menus, mango cocktail making classes and more! I never knew there were so many ways to use this delicious fruit and am terribly sad that we missed this event.
Sadly, our stay at Jade Mountain was too short and there were many things that we would have loved to have done which we didn’t. Now back in England and tackling our post-holiday blues we want to say a huge thanks to Nick, Karolin, Yasha and the lovely staff of Jade Mountain, we miss you!