By Marla Horn Lazarus
“Celebrating unparalleled views of the Pitons and the Caribbean Sea.”
Rising majestically above the 600-acre beachfront resort of Anse Chastanet, Jade Mountain Resort on St. Lucia’s southwestern Caribbean coastline is a cornucopia of organic architecture celebrating St. Lucia’s stunning scenic beauty.
Architect owner Nick Troubetzkoy has expanded upon his philosophy of building in harmony with Caribbean nature in his creation of Jade Mountain St. Lucia. The bold architectural design features individual bridges leading to exceptional infinity pool sanctuaries and rugged stoned-faced columns reaching towards the sky. Jade Mountain St. Lucia is one of the Caribbean’s most mesmerizing resort experiences. Recently earned three Readers’ Choice awards from 10Best, one of USA Today’s travel web sites. Jade Mountain was voted “Best Caribbean Resort” and Anse Chastanet was voted “Best Caribbean Beach.” Jade Mountain Club restaurant was also named one of the Top 10 Caribbean Restaurants.
With a short hop on a direct flight from Miami, we were on our way for a Caribbean getaway. Each of the 24 infinity pool sanctuaries (guest rooms) at Jade Mountain St. Lucia is a carefully designed with individual works of art and architecture. All of the sanctuaries celebrate an unparalleled view of the Pitons and the Caribbean Sea. We were overwhelmed with the grand sweeping spaces where our bedroom, living area and an extravagant private infinity pool glide into one another to form extraordinary platforms floating out into nature. With the fourth wall entirely absent, the sanctuaries are stage-like settings from which we embraced the full glory of St. Lucia’s Pitons World Heritage Site, and of course, the eternal Caribbean Sea.
Wrapped around an infinity pool with a dazzling kaleidoscope of colors, the Jade Mountain Club celebrates James Beard Award winner Chef Allen Susser. “Jade Cuisine is a celebration of the bold flavors of the world’s tropical cultures in my kitchen at Jade Mountain,” says Chef Allen. “The cooking is fresh, simple and succinct. There is always flexibility for the seasons and availability of local products. As a chef my passion is taste. The bottom line here is that food comes down to nature and the nature of taste.” With such a close relationship with many fishermen in Soufriere and along the Saint Lucian coast, we were guaranteed to the freshest and most pristine fish on the island. As one of the most breathtaking locations imaginable, the Celestial Terrace, hovering in space above the Jade Mountain Club, offers an unforgettable sunset panorama. And once night has fallen, watch the romantic night sky as you look together for shooting stars.
With various culinary events offered throughout the year from the Mango Madness Festival to Spices of the Caribbean and Discover Chocolate Festival, we decided to immerse ourselves in “Cooking in Paradise.” This event is also know as the virtues of a locally grown Caribbean cuisine. We were treated to a tropical abundance and exotic array of local and seasonal sustainable delicacies from their 600-acre resort property, including the old colonial plantation of Anse Mamin. The estate was originally a sugarcane plantation in the 18th century. In later years, it became a coconut plantation and eventually started growing of cocoa trees. The cocoa trees are still numerous on the grounds for guest to see and to produce their own estate chocolate. Anse Mamin is a wonderful organic resource for their menus, including turmeric, cashews, tamarind, mango, avocado, oranges, tangerines, guavas, papaya, coconut, breadfruit, yams, and sweet potatoes. The organic farm Emerald’s in the Soufriere hills plays another major role in their farm to table set up. These ingredients range from, vanilla beans, bay leaf, nutmeg trees, cinnamon trees, to numerous varieties of mango, sour oranges, coconuts, cacao and many other tropical and exotic fruits. Emerald farm also grows organic salad leaves, micro greens, vegetables, and herbs for the restaurants. Experiencing the Paradise Chocolate Sensory Tasting, an awakening journey through the fruitful flavor palate of cocoa and chocolate was amazing. On of the highlights of Cooking in Paradise is the Paradise cooking class with Chef Allen!
As the resort is located in the midst of what is arguably the most scenic region in all the Caribbean, Jade Mountain, the 360 degree view of unsurpassed visual beauty took our breath way. There is also a profusion of important attractions located nearby which included a full array of sightseeing so we could fully enjoy everything the island has to offer. The Sulphur Springs, Diamond Falls & Botanical Gardens are simply beautiful and a hike in the Rainforest took us into one of the wettest places on earth. From a birding point of view, Saint Lucia is very accessible being just 27 miles long and 14 miles wide and is probably one of the most important of the Lesser Antilles as it holds six single island endemics. If you are into bird watching, Saint Lucia has six endemic species, one of which is the islands national bird, the Saint Lucia Parrot (Amazona Veriscolor), a species that recovered from dangerously low population numbers in the early 1980s. The other endemics are the Saint Lucia Pewee, Saint Lucia Warbler, Saint Lucia Oriole, Saint Lucia Black Finch and Semper’s Warbler. This gives Saint Lucia the distinction of having the highest number of endemic birds in the Eastern Caribbean region.
In addition, also available are a full variety of activities to be enjoyed within the 600 acre resort property such hiking, snorkeling, biking, and bird-watching. And, of course, the waters of the blue Caribbean are just perfect for diving, sailing, kayaking, whale watching, and sport fishing. If your holiday goal is to simply relax, make sure to pamper yourself in the mud baths or layback on a Champagne sunset sail. To more fully enjoy the exquisite tropical beauty of Anse Chastanet’s 600 acres, our surrounding west coast, or Saint Lucia’s central Rain Forest Reserve, Jade Mountain we enjoyed walking tour, which provide us an opportunity to experience first hand the magnificent scenery of the island that it is famous for.
Taking full advantage of the resort’s more than half mile of blue Caribbean waterfront on the calm leeward side of the island, a full array of enjoyable water sports activities were available to us on a complimentary basis. Our professionally trained Beach Attendant staff was delighted to assist with instructions on the use of the various equipment, such as stand up paddleboards, sit-on-top kayaks, windsurf boards, and Sunfish sail boats.
Part of the 600-acre resort estate is two beautiful, natural, soft sand beaches with an abundance of pristine coral reefs right offshore. The Anse Chastanet Beach is the quintessential Caribbean resort beach where you can laze the day away on a cozy beach chair in the shade provided by a private beach hut, while your every need is taken care of by the resort team. From minted cool spray, towel service, fruit kebabs, and sorbet are all part of the daily beach experience. Should you be lured by the rhythmic waves rolling ashore, snorkeling and water sports are but a few paces away. Our favorite and the resort’s second beach, Anse Mamin, is located to the north and can be reached by a complimentary resort shuttle boat or a ten-minute stroll along the scenic coastline. With a well-earned reputation as one of the most beautiful and exotic beaches on island, Anse Mamin is the perfect location if you desire a more laid back romantic atmosphere.
On our last day, after an exhilarating and relaxing adventure, we decided for a spa treatment in the privacy of our infinity pool sanctuary (or you can choose to be in Jade Mountain’s spa, Kai en Ciel). Leaving nothing left unturned, Jade Mountain’s Concierge and our personal Major Domo (guest services butler) could not do enough for us and assisted our every whim. Along with sensational dining and most breathtaking views, this experience of a lifetime will stay with us for many years to come. Home to the magical Piton Mountains, lush landscapes, unspoiled rainforests and a palm-fringed beach, Saint Lucia is the beautiful Caribbean island that has it all and more. For the perfect wedding, honeymoon or romantic getaway, one of the Caribbean’s most unique and scenically spectacular settings imaginable is waiting for you…