White sands and glittering turquoise seas are some of the first things that come to mind when you picture a Caribbean holiday and landing into St Lucia, your dreams become a reality.
The island’s beaches are all open to the public, even if there’s a resort nestled on the beach and because of this, access to these resorts can be a little hairy. For example, when heading to Jade Mountain, there’s a narrow dirt road rattling my bones to their very core, making this pregnant lady pretty unhappy. The only upside is the glimpse of brilliant blue waters below and the lush green rainforest above that is giving me any incentive to continue on.
My efforts are soon rewarded when we arrive, my new home nestled dramatically into the 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 have our very own personal Major Domo (butler) who whisks us off to our
room, nay sorry our sanctuary and I’m beginning to forget all about my bumpy ride over. 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.
Once inside, it’s pretty much not possible to keep our mouths from falling open. The sanctuary is a suite, but a suite like no other I’ve ever seen – there is no fourth wall. There’s a king size four poster bed, a romantic (and practical) mosquito net, a private infinity pool which appears to drop off the edge of the cliff, showers and bathrooms tucked around a corner and the view, oh the view, the twin-peaked Piton mountains on one side and the glittering turquoise of the Caribbean sea on the other.
We’ve not been able to put together any coherent sentences, but our butler is clearly used to this and instead he’s busy pointing out all that you need to know, including something pretty exciting – a butler phone!
It usually takes me a little while to relax on holiday, I like to have things planned and areas to explore but when you’re in paradise, it does throw up a bit of a quandary. Should we stay in (and potentially 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 bonafide bean to bar mini chocolate production, available for guests to experience and make their very own bars of chocolate! Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to make our own chocolate, but they have their own exclusive brands of chocolate available if you just want to take one home.
Given that we’re overlooking a pretty spectacular beach, there are no pools on the premises 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. The bump precludes anything too active so I simply go on a gentle snorkel around the resident reef to spot schools of fish and coral and then come back to land for a virgin pina colada before the sun goes down.
One thing you should expect when you turn in for the night is that the lack of a fourth wall can make for a noisy night! The birds are a chirping and the sun comes streaming in bright and early so the eye masks and ear plugs are a must to sleep in.
Breakfast (and dinner the evening before) is at the top floor of the resort, the Jade Mountain Club and offers up a whole range of foods along the chocolate theme. The coconut encrusted Nutella french toast is the most decadent start to the day as well as some chocolatey cocoa tea, it puts a bounce in my step and for this dish alone the chef deserves a medal.
If we had more time at Jade Mountain, I had my eye on a whole range of activities, in particular the culinary themed ones, especially making my own chocolate, but since we only had a limited amount of time we ventured out to the resort’s second beach – Anse Mamin. 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. If you’re feeling a bit more energetic, you can go off on a jungle walk but it’s a bit too hot for all that for us, so we’re just going to sit and eat our burgers in lazy peace.
You can take a water taxi back to the main beach and we could have put our butler phone to good use, but since it’s only a 10-minute scenic walk back, we attempted to work off some of the burgers and admired the view at the same time. We could have really burnt it off by walking up the hill to the rooms but that seems a step too far and there’s a shuttle service that regularly speeds its way up and down the hill and since we do have that butler phone just itching to be used, it’s nothing more than a minute’s wait to go back to the sanctuary.
Jade Mountain is adults only and it’s sister hotel Anse Chastanet is family-friendly, so all together on one small hill, you have everything you could need to make this a very special holiday. By far, it’s one of the most special places I have ever stayed at and a fitting end to the babymoon.
A version of this post first appeared on Flush the Fashion. My stay was complimentary for the purposes of the review.