I’ve been to heaven on Earth. It’s called Jade Mountain in St. Lucia, and it is a transcendental experience, as well as truly a sight to behold.
The island of St. Lucia is gorgeous itself: a 27-mile long island nestled between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, with bright blue water and lush foliage around the Piton Mountains. But staying at Jade Mountain is almost mystical, like none other. The hotel is built into a rock cliff overlooking the water, and the rooms – or “sanctuaries” have only three walls. The fourth side of the room is completely open, offering magnificent, dramatic views of the volcanic peaks rising out of the Caribbean.
Each “sanctuary” offers a private infinity pool inside the room, creating an experience unlike anywhere else. You really have to see it to believe it, so here’s another peek of the inside of a room. Yep, that’s right. These are taken from inside the room.
The hotel is the ultimate in luxury and privacy. Only 24 rooms, no phones, no TV’s. No problem. Upon arrival, your room concierge gives you a Firefly phone (think vintage-model cell phone) to contact hotel staff, and they are at your beck-and-call throughout your stay. The hotel’s architectural design is like a labyrinth of walkways and bridges, somewhat reminiscent of certain scenes from “Indiana Jones”.
It’s true there is only one restaurant at Jade Mountain, but it’s overseen by a James Beard award-winning chef, and the food and the views are both spectacular. You can also choose to have private dining, or in-room service, but even if you eat at the restaurant each night, the scene, sights and beautiful starry nights prevent it from feeling repetitive. Full disclosure: the walk to the restaurant is up what seems to be hundreds of stairs, but the final steps across the walkway suspended in the air, and the panoramic views once inside, make it more than worth it. And for a little something sweet, Jade Mountain houses a chocolate lab, which is the island’s only “bean to bar” chocolate maker.
If you are, however, someone who needs a bit more variety, there is complimentary shuttle service to the additional restaurants at Jade Mountain’s sister property, further down the mountain, Anse Chastanet. We didn’t go even once.
Because you’re in St. Lucia, you can take advantage of the local scenic excursions, like a rainforest, sulphur spring and a drive-in volcano(!?). Or you can indulge in island sport activities, and have access to those offered at Anse Chastanet. If you want to just relax and take in some sun, the shuttle will drive you down the mountain so you can enjoy the turquoise water and Caribbean beach up close.
The overall experience at Jade Mountain easily explains why it’s ranked among the World’s Best Hotels and Resorts by Conde Nast’s Travel & Leisure, as Conde Nast Traveler‘s Top Caribbean Resort for the past three years in a row and by American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts as their property with the Most Breathtaking View.
There really isn’t anything not to love about Jade Mountain, but here is one thing to think about (which didn’t actually bother us, but worth mentioning). Before we went, we heard something about an “open bathroom”. I wasn’t quite sure what that meant, and even when I kind of figured out what it must mean, I thought I had to be wrong. Well, I wasn’t. The bathrooms are an open design right in the room, complete with open shower and small room with toilet and no door. You read that right. No bathroom door. As odd as it sounds, it strangely wasn’t a problem at all. But I was very glad that I had at least heard about it in advance. (See what I mean below. The steps on the right lead into the bathroom, and the wood pole that looks to be inlaid between the blue tile is actually a free-standing pole with a shower nozzle attached. The toilet is in the back to the right, so you can’t see it in this photo.)
From the moment you arrive at Jade Mountain, you truly feel as through you’ve been taken into another world. The fastidious and attentive staff goes above and beyond to ensure your trip is everything you could imagine. And even when it rained for part of our trip, just relaxing in this romantic and ethereal environment, inside (but outside) in our room watching the rain, we were transported to someplace magical. I can’t wait to go back.
Have you ever been to Jade Mountain?
For more information, go to jademountain.com.