Jade Mountain Resort
What We Love
- Personalized pampering: A major domo (personal concierge) is assigned to each suite
- Inventive dishes cooked up by top toque Allen Susser
- Late night stargazing from the Celestial Terrace
- Guests have full run of 600-acre Anse Chastanet
What To Know
- Kids 15 and under aren’t allowed
- The resort’s steep, tiered layout isn’t accessible to the physically challenged
- Each suite is totally open (read: no doors on the bathrooms, etc.)
- No TV or phone, but WiFi is available
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
St. Lucia’s southwest coast has remained largely unspoiled, mostly because its beaches lie in the shadow of cliffs. But it was here that architect Nick Troubetzkoy and his wife Karolin built their 28-suite boutique resort, carved into the highest point of their 600-acre Anse Chastanet, offering guests incredible views of the island’s iconic twin Pitons. The look is vibrant and craftsy, with lots of wood, clay tiles and tropical colors, from bedspreads to table settings.
Bed and Bath
“Sanctuaries,” as the resort’s rooms are known, offer little in the way of mod cons — you won’t find phones or televisions here. The focus instead is on the incredible view, which is easy to take in given rooms’ open floor plan (meaning there’s no wall on one side). Take in the scenery from your private infinity pool (in Star and Moon Sanctuaries) or from the whirlpool tub in the bathroom. Your major domo (Jade Mountain’s term for a personal concierge) is available 24/7 to help arrange everything from car rentals to room service.
James Beard Award-winning chef Allen Susser likens the food at Jade Mountain to “a tropical vacation on a plate,” and the menu features such dishes as cinnamon-roasted mahi-mahi with blue crab couscous. Room service at the hotel is far from standard — the culinary team can prepare a six-course menu with wine pairings upon request. For further pampering, check into the Kai en Ciel Spa for soothing treatments, including their Wosh Cho hot stone massage.
In the Area
Jade Mountain offers plenty to keep foodies happy. There are rum tastings at the old colonial plantation of Anse Mamin, as well as tours of the resort’s organic farm followed by a cooking class. Each Thursday the resort offers a Jazzy Sunset Cruise, with live music and cocktails on a catamaran. Active types can dive via the resort’s five-star scuba center or rent mountain bikes to tackle the nearby hills. A short car ride away you’ll also find the Louis XIV Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens. Most visitors simply tour the lush grounds, but you can also opt for a soak in the thermal hot springs.
How to Get There
There are plenty of reviews of Jade on TA; I will try not to repeat what you can read elsewhere and will instead attempt to provide answers in bullet-point form to the questions I personally had before booking, and address some of the doubts that surfaced after booking due to some recent negative TA reviews.
For context, we stayed in Sun Sanctuary JE3 between 5 Feb 2019 and 12 Feb 2019 on the Total Romance package.
OVERALL – Jade is outstanding. It is exactly as it appears in the photos; an architectural masterpiece in an amazing location with an unbeatable view of the Pitons. Service was fantastic, and all the staff we met were friendly and welcoming.
ARRIVAL – we’d heard negative reviews of the access road between Jade and Soufriere so selected the helicopter from the airport. This is a brilliant way to arrive, taking around 7 minutes – you can take a carry-on case on the helicopter, but your hold luggage goes by van and arrived 90 mins after we did. However, I wouldn’t recommend choosing the helicopter just to avoid the road – if you don’t like the twists and turns of the road, and the drops down to the sea, you are unlikely to enjoy a helicopter. The road is potholed and narrow, but I have been on far worse. Choose the helicopter for the speed, the convenience and yes, the glamour. Cost is around 550USD for two each way.
POOL – our Sun Sanctuary pool was on the north eastern side of Jade with probably the best view of the Pitons. The temperature was perfect – a little chilly when first entering, but that’s exactly what you want to cool off. There is LED lighting that creates a lovely ambience at night. The pool water is pumped constantly and changes six times per day; this does mean that the noise of the water cascading over the side continues all day and all night. It’s a constant noise and you’ll either find it soothing or you won’t; my wife did, I didn’t. Ear plugs are provided.
MEAL PLAN – we are not big drinkers (my wife doesn’t drink at all) and not big eaters; despite that, we reckon the meal plan was still better value than paying as you go. If you eat and drink like most normal folk, you’ll get better value from a meal plan than paying as you go. We were entitled to afternoon tea each day and didn’t have it once; we also rarely had room for the treats left in the fridge each day by our Major Domos.
MAJOR DOMOS – they are brilliant. We had Ain, Al and Teclus, and each was superb. You are given a phone and you can contact them from anywhere on St Lucia with any question or request. They deliver breakfast and other meals to your room, confirm your itinerary for each day and arrange or amend excursions at your request.
SPA – the on-site spa is brilliant. We had a couple’s massage in our sanctuary, reflexology in the spa and my wife had a facial; all the treatments were wonderful.
GYM – there is a small gym below the spa with weights and at least three treadmills.
BEACHES – Anse Chastanet is pleasant, with the coral reef literally 20 feet off shore. It was never too busy, and we had no problem getting loungers. Anse Mamin is nicer and a 5-10 minute walk to the north. There is a frequent water taxi from Anse Chastanet if you prefer, but it was quicker to walk.
JUNGLE BIKING – we did the Jungle Biking tour that was in our Total Romance package and highly recommend it. You explore the old plantation behind Anse Mamin, going out for a 30 minute familiarisation with a guide who shows you the various trails, then leaves you free to go where you want on your own. Tip – prioritise insect repellent over sunscreen when in the jungle; there is plenty of shade, and some biting insects.
TIPPING – we were confused about this before we travelled so hopefully the following will help you. Yes, there is a 10% service charge added to the cost – as this amounted to some 2,500 USD we thought we had this covered. In reality, there are lots of times where you feel you want to tip in cash – the loaders at the helicopter transfer, the shuttle bus driver who takes you up and down to the beach, the spa treatment providers, the tour guides on excursions. We also left a cash tip for our house keeping team (300 ECD, or just over 100 USD for our 7 nights) and 250 ECD for each of our three Major Domos. I’m not saying these are the right amounts; you may feel comfortable not tipping extra at all; but this didn’t feel right to us, especially in view of the great service we received. I wish we had known this beforehand, as we arrived with only 300 USD and had to get 500 ECD from an ATM and an additional 500 ECD as a cash advance from Reception. It would have been easier to arrive with more USD as dollars are readily accepted.
GROS PITON – I did the hike up with a guide, all organised by the hotel. Our Major Domo woke me at 5:45 by gently calling my name rather than ringing the bell so as not to wake my wife, with a surprise plate of fruit and cake to provide energy. I had the guide all to myself and we reached the top in just over an hour. We were the first to the top and I would thoroughly recommend going early to avoid the heat and the (relative) crowds. It is a tough, relentless climb on rocky ground (wear proper walking shoes) but should be do-able by those with some high-level walking experience and decent fitness. There are no exposed sections, and you start from around 600 feet giving a total ascent of 2,000 feet.
TINKER’S TRAIL – this is a great uphill walk from the jungle behind Anse Mamin. It’s around 20 minutes to the top, again hard work in the heat; but the reward is a brilliant view over the helipad and hotel to the Pitons beyond. If you make it to the top, there’s a bell you can ring in celebration (I thought it was to call help so did not ring it!). Tip – descend the same way you climb up; do not be tempted to take the other path from the summit as it is ridiculously steep.
COMMUNICATION – this is the one area with room for improvement. My pre-booking emails took a while to be answered. When, just before departing for Jade, I read a scathing review on TA (more on this later) and emailed for reassurance, there was initially a worrying silence which caused me to start a forum topic that ultimately reassured me. And since we returned, I contacted them to ask for the web address for the guest feedback form; more than 2 days later I am still waiting for a reply. At the weekly drinks reception hosted by management I asked why they do not respond to TA reviews and was told this was simply their policy. I made it clear that I personally consider this to be a mistake, as uncorrected allegations can cause angst amongst potential guests.
FORMALITY – bit of a mix here. I was always comfortable in (smart) shorts, even for dinner; this is a relaxed and non-stuffy place. The staff were unfailingly polite, although there was always the sense that they were trained to keep a little distance – they absolutely refused to address us by our first names. That said, everything worked faultlessly – our preferences were noted and remembered, and nothing was forgotten, so their systems work very well.
FOOD – wow, the food; simply magnificent. My wife needs to avoid gluten and soy and they could not have been more accommodating. She was told to choose anything on the menu, and if they could make it gluten free, they would do so. The only surprise was they did not have gluten free pasta. The food was consistently superb and beautifully presented. The dinner menu changed each night. There was a great choice of meat, fish and vegetarian/vegan options. The wines by the glass were excellent and varied, and the service was always impeccable. We chose to mostly eat breakfast in our room but lunch and dinner in the Jade Club. Although Jade guests are free to use the Anse Chastanet restaurants, I’m not sure why you’d want to.
NOISE/LIGHT/TEMPERATURE – we were a little bothered about how the open fourth wall would affect these aspects. We found that temperature was not an issue; St Lucia is breezy, and the ceiling fans do a great job of keeping the place at a pleasant temperature. However, noise and light were issues – light because our east-facing room received the morning sun, so we were woken naturally at 6am each day – not a problem for us as we were staying partly on UK-time in any case. There was more of an issue with noise – both the constant pool noise as already mentioned, and more particularly music noise from the restaurant. This went on until 10 pm every evening we were there, and, depending on the band, was occasionally simply too loud. We were immediately beneath the band area, so I do not know what the noise would be like in other rooms, but it was the one downside to JE3. I know 10 p.m. is not late, but it is for us, and a 9:30 finish would have been much better! I understand that rooms on the west, overlooking Anse Chastanet (and including all the Galaxy suites), experience noise from the lower hotel which does go on until 10:30 p.m. If this is an issue for you, and it was for us, I’d suggest discussing with the booking staff.
OTHER REVIEWS – as previously mentioned, I personally think Jade could help themselves by responding to reviews. The most recent review as I write this gives three stars, despite rating the room and serenity as 10 stars. Their biggest complaint is that Jade Mountain is on a hill (the clue is in the name…) – yes, it is; that’s what gives the great view. For the record, there are 129 steps from Anse Chastanet beach to the Tree House restaurant, in the middle of Anse Chastanet hotel. There is then a further climb on a single-track road with steps which winds to the bottom of Jade. Once in Jade, there are 111 steps to reach the walkway to our JE3 Sanctuary (the ‘E’ Sanctuaries are the highest levels). So you have 240 steps between beach and the highest Sanctuaries, plus a climb up a few hundred meters of road. So it’s a fair climb, but not impossible; and how frequently will you do it? Once a day? If it’s too much for you, call the shuttle van which will do the whole climb for you. The review that really caused me to stop and think, and to almost cancel, was ‘From Sanctuary to Monastery to Prison’. I was so concerned by this review that I started a forum post to try to get to the bottom of it; as Jade do not respond to TA reviews, we only had the reviewer’s side of the story. Once at Jade, I could both see that what that reviewer wrote was the polar opposite of our experience, and hear from some of the Jade team the other side of the story. Suffice to say that if you read this reviewer’s rant I would strongly advise you to discount it completely and not let it trouble you before your trip; then you will see for yourself that this is not remotely representative of this amazing hotel.
CHOCOLATE LAB – I thoroughly recommend the free tasting followed by the 45 USD chocolate tour. They grow their own beans on site and the tour shows you how they make their wonderful chocolate and gives you the chance to make your own to take away. Peter, the chocolatier, is friendly and knowledgeable.
SANCTUARY CHOICE – we loved our Sun Sanctuary, JE3; it was perfect. In case you are wondering, as we were, the Galaxies are basically Sun Sanctuaries but on the west (rather than east) side of the building – so the Galaxies are JC1, JD1 and JE1. ‘1’ denotes nearer the west, increasing to 2 and then 3 as you head east; the level is denoted by the alphabetic character after the ‘J’, with E being the highest. Bizarrely, the very lowest level seems to be F, which contains the Sky (Jacuzzi only) suites. On check out we had 5 hours before our helicopter return to the airport, and as our Sanctuary was booked by incoming guests we were moved to a Sky suite. Now on its own you would think this was a great room, but coming from a Sun it was nothing like the same experience – being so low meant that you lost the cooling breeze, and some of the view (although to be fair there isn’t a bad view at Jade and the Pitons were still front and centre). But I think you would really miss a pool, and the sounds of the housekeeping teams were very audible down here whereas we never heard them up top.
EXPENSIVE? – yes, it is. Worth it? Absolutely. It is certainly too expensive for us to return every year, but for a once in a lifetime celebration, or occasional indulgence, it is fantastic.
Let me be clear, I loved the Suite and it is in fact spectacular however the rest is not so hot. For those seeking to absolutely retreat and just hang out in your room and enjoy serenity than this is a 10 star as can be seen in my photos. For those seeking to go to a nice Beach a short walk away or fine outside the resort is not to hot. Jade mountain sites on top of a mountain so to get to the beach or for that matter anywhere it's filled with Hilly terrain that is easier by using their golf carts however you have to call for drivers each move you make. Directly below the resort is another dive resort which is very raw but great to have if you're a diver otherwise an ugly Beach. They do have another beach but hard to get to and only by golf cart.
My suggestion is Grace Resort owned by Viceroy. Beautiful in all ways. Luxury, Beach, water, good etc.
however long you've been married, or even if you're not.
Jade Mountain is heaven on earth. We were totally indulged. The sanctuaries are aptly named, deliciously private spaces with every creature comfort available and stunning views of the Pitons.
The food was exceptional. Lots of local ingredients, some new to us, thoughtfully and imaginatively prepared and beautifully presented. We ate every meal at the Jade Club, it's a gorgeous and relaxed setting and the staff are all delightful. The menu changed every night, there are different breakfast specials every day, and even with the unchanging lunch menu, we were never bored.
The terrace above the restaurant is a magical place to sit after dinner and watch the stars, there's plenty of comfortable seating and you never feel that you're in anyone else's space.
The hotel itself is a marvel, a remarkable feat of engineering and an amazing space, but what makes this place super special are the lovely staff. Not just the wonderful majordomos, but literally every member of staff that we came across was charming and friendly and welcoming.
We had looked forward to our trip as a "once-in-a-lifetime" treat. We read the excellent reviews and looked at many photos, but nothing could have prepared us for the sheer deliciousness of our sanctuary and the blissful week we enjoyed. We've already booked to go back next year!
Definitely go for the all-inclusive plan, our holiday was worth every penny spent, but it was great to be able to order pretty much anything on the menu without thinking about the cost. The wine available on the plan is perfectly acceptable, and it includes popular name-brand spirits, including some tasty St Lucian rum.
We were super happy with our Moon suite. After we had to check out (someone booked for our sanctuary), we were very kindly allowed to spend the rest of that day before our evening flight in one of the jacuzzi sanctuaries. It was very comfortable, with the same great view of the Pitons we had from the Moon suite, but I think you'd be missing the best of this hotel if you don't stay in one of the sanctuaries with infinity pools.
I'll bring ear plugs next time, although there were some supplied in the room. The lack of a fourth wall means that the noise level at night was higher than I'm used to, and sometimes you can hear the doorbells of the other sanctuaries.
Vacation of a lifetime.There are no words to describe our experience at Jade.it was the perfect vacation and perfect 1st anniversary trip.The room with the open wall and infinity pool overlooking the piton mountains and beach left us speechless and during our 5 day stay in disbelief that we had the opportunity to spend 5 days of our lives there.The food was amazing and the excursions were perfect for us .The service was amazing and a special shout-out to major domo Junius who went out of his way to make our time at Jade super special.He did everything possible to assist us in any way possible and be at ease and relaxed at every point during our stay.My wife and I left feeling as though we had made a friend and miss him and Jade already!Other special shoutouts to Tayoun who made our 1st anniversary dinner on the celestial terrace a memory we will never forget as well as Gus the Jade club restaurant manager who arraigned the dinner and sent up a soloist steel drum player to play solely for us and since my wife especially enjoyed the soursop shakes always accommodated her culinary wishes even if her preferences were not on the menu.Junior was also outstanding and the staff throughout were always especially friendly!!!!Jade is a must visit if at all possible and we look forward to our next visit!!
I left there totally satisfied and felt as if the money was well spent,I would recommend the helicopter ride to and from the airport.As our friends at Jade say ,our trip was MAXIMUM CHILL and we did not say goodbye but instead be well until next time.
My wife and I traveled to Jade Mountain in early January for a combination occasion: my 50th birthday, a belated wedding anniversary, and a significant career shift for her. While we’ve been to various nice hotels in the Caribbean before, we were seeking a place to celebrate, unwind / relax, and spend some quality time together, and the unique setting of Jade intrigued us. We were initially apprehensive about some of the aspects - being outside, the open bathroom floor plan, noise from other guests, all the stairs, etc. - but decided we’d try it as a potential once in a lifetime experience, and booked several nights in Galaxy Sanctuary JE1.
Our Sanctuary was fantastic. The view of the Pitons from there has to be experienced in person to be believed - no photos we’ve seen before or since, including some excellent ones we took during our stay, properly captures them. Any concerns about the outside / lack of AC aspect of the design were immediately allayed; the Sanctuary stays comfortable and well-ventilated throughout the day, with only an hour or so in the late afternoon when it might be called “warm,” though never “hot” (I will qualify: we’re from Texas, so our heat & humidity tolerances may not be universal). I comfortably wore long sleeved linen shirts and trousers for dinner; around 3am one pleasantly cool night, I even grabbed a light shirt to sleep in.
A pleasant surprise was the sounds of running water in the Sanctuary, provided by the infinity pool and the water channel along the open edge. It’s a very soothing backdrop, with the added benefit of masking sounds from the other Sanctuaries, which really heightens the sense of isolation. We’d wondered if we’d notice much outside noise or other guests; our experience was overall very positive in that regard. JE1 is on the top Sanctuary floor, with the restaurant directly above, so we’d hear a little sound here and there as the night progressed, including moments of the live music they have most nights. But it never approached a level we’d call disturbing, and it all wraps up early enough sleeping was never a problem. The water sounds also help address any concerns about the bathroom layout (basically, you can’t hear or see much of anything); any doubts we had about the open floor plan were quickly put to rest.
The infinity pool itself is incredible. Some reviewers note finding the water a bit brisk, but we acclimated very quickly. During the day, lounging in it while watching the views of the Pitons and the beach below is almost surreal; at night with the stars out and the room lights dimmed is equally amazing - we’ve never experienced anything quite like it. And on the subject of the stars: if it’s been a while since you’ve seen them in a clear, non-light polluted sky, you’re in for a treat - I awoke the first night, and was stunned at the clarity. We packed a pair of 7x50 binoculars with us, which makes for great amateur stargazing (and looking at the moon, too).
Our major domo service from Tecchlus, Allain, and Junius (the “TAJ” team) was spot-on. They were always friendly and responsive when we called - even if they were busy at that exact second (which was rare), they promptly got back to us and were ready to assist us with whatever we needed. Allain gets an extra special nod because a) luck of the draw had him on shift more so than the others during most of our calls, and b) he set up a great surprise candlelight dinner in our Sanctuary for my birthday night, complete with flowers, wine, and a special favor from the chef. Karolin was also on the property our first night there, and was very welcoming, even as we were obviously still a bit overwhelmed by our initial impressions of the grounds and our Sanctuary.
The food is excellent: breakfast, lunch and dinner in the rooms is a great experience (you’ll get the hang of their room service method quickly), as is dining in the restaurant, and the afternoon bento box of snacks lived up to the hype. We highly recommend the All-Inclusive Plan: if you’re there much more than a day, it’s more economical - and just as importantly, more relaxing while on an exotic vacation than constantly looking at your tab (be sure to ask the major domos about the “five glasses” method of ordering wine - you’ll be glad you did).
Birds and bugs were not a particular issue for us. We experienced birds in our Sanctuary primarily in the early morning, though if you leave food sitting out (even covered), they’ll show up. We suggest placing your trays outside your door with the plates covered by your napkins as soon as you’re done eating, no matter the time of day; trays are bussed fairly quickly, and most of the time you’ll never even know someone came by to grab it. With lit mosquito coils in the rooms at night, we effectively had no bug problems - any fears of waking to creepy crawlies on the floor or your mosquito netting are, in our experience, totally unfounded (it helps that you’re pretty high up off the ground, too). They provided sleep masks and earplugs; we brought our own, but ended up not really using them.
The mobility matter is worth consideration. Staying at Jade requires you be able to navigate stairs: whether it’s inside the resort, going down to the beach, or just getting off the plane (UVF is a small airport with no jetways - you disembark / board the old-school way, using a step ramp). Also regarding the beach, know what you’re getting into there: if you’re expecting sparkling white sand, private cabana service, and the waves right outside your door - this isn’t it. It’s a public beach, and you can expect the place to get reasonably full well before noon. It’s also a steep walk down from Jade through Anse Chastanet to get there, which means a steep walk up going back. We went down one day to experience it, but didn’t stay long (we never made it over to Anse Mamin, which is supposedly smaller and quieter than the main area). Of course, it’s still a beach in the Caribbean, which is pretty nice in our book.
The road up to Jade is steep, rough, and slow; the stretch between the paved roads and the resort takes 10-15 minutes just by itself, and you’ll be jostled around some until you get to Anse Chastanet. We opted for the helicopter ride in, which at a 10 minute trip is significantly quicker than driving in from UVF. We’d hoped to take the helicopter back as well, but we had a ridiculously early flight home that required leaving Jade before sunrise, and the chopper doesn’t fly that early in the morning, so we needed the car transfer upon return. But even that early, the commute took an hour, so I’d expect in the middle of the day you might plan on a 90 minute trip each way. The upside to the drive is you can see some of the local atmosphere up close (assuming daylight); the downside is it’s not a quick trip, and goes through multiple windy roads that might not be so fun for folks who are prone to car sickness. My wife doesn’t always do so well on such car trips - but she is also not thrilled with heights, so she had mild reservations about each option. Having now experienced both, she endorses the helicopter both ways if possible. One note here: no lighters are allowed on the helicopter (it’s a fuel / safety thing), and the Port Police will politely confiscate them before you board. If you need one at the resort, they’ll happily get one for you on arrival (don’t bring a favorite Zippo like I did).
We can’t comment on the other activities available - hiking/biking, the chocolate lab, the spa, sunset cruises, the restaurants at Anse Chastanet, the Anse Mamin burgers, etc. - we spent most of our time in the Sanctuary, even having most of our meals brought to us there. If a return trip comes to pass (and I hope it does), we might look into those aspects more; we have no reason to think they wouldn’t be great. But again, our goal was to escape and privately unwind - which we absolutely accomplished.
In summation: “trip of a lifetime” may sound trite, but in this case it’s entirely accurate. The unique architecture, atmosphere, hospitality, and overall experience all met or exceeded our admittedly high expectations, so much so I was compelled to write this review. If you’re on the fence about it, take the chance.