We just returned from a 5 night winter getaway to Jade Mountain and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. This place is all about the rooms and the awesome view of the Pitons – which, surprisingly, is only obtainable from the rooms (and restaurant and upper terrace) and essentially cannot really be seen from anywhere else on or off the Anse Chastenet property. It’s truly one of the iconic, must-see views of the world like that of Half Dome from Glacier Point or the overlook at Trunk Bay in St. John.
The difference here is that the view is from private property and comes at a fairly substantial cost. Some of the other more recent reviews, particularly the one entitled “Beautiful but Overrated”, hit the nail on the head when they basically said the resort is great but more expensive than it really should be. Based on many years of staying in high end properties all over the world, I would say the fair market value of a stay at Jade Mountain is about 50 to 60% of the actual cost. I’m not bellyaching and have no regrets at all about going, but just offer this assessment for the benefit of others that might be considering a visit. In this case, it was highly unusual that we reserved a (relatively low) Star category room because as a matter of standard practice we almost always book the most expensive room, suite or villa at fine resorts (and are very seldom disappointed, by the way) but I got the sense before even going that the upper room categories here weren’t likely to be worth the money - and it turned out to be a great decision. We toured a Sun and Galaxy room on our last day and were very surprised to find that we liked our room just as well, if not more. Our room, JD2, was on D level immediately next-door to one of the Galaxy rooms (JD1). To get the maximum value I would suggest doing as we did and book a Star room with the meal plan only (rather than any of the 5 or 7 night packages) and request an upper floor like D or E (A is the bottom and F is the restaurant). I had assumed that the top category rooms were on the upper floors of the hotel but, surprisingly, that is not the case; rather, they are distributed throughout the building with many, if not most, being on the lower floors, which, I think, I would find oppressive with 60 tons of pools over your head and a lower vantage point for The View. In addition to being a visual and architectural delight, a pool is essential for cooling off because the sun is intense - so I would not recommend the Sky category. Within the last year we have stayed at villas or suites with private pools in Santorini, St. John and Rarotonga and this pool was the warmest of any of them. Cold pools are a pet peeve of mine but this one was actually good and we went in often.
In general, the rooms, or sanctuaries, themselves at Jade Mountain are 5 star but once you leave the room and cross your bridge you enter a decidedly 3 star property. There should be a grand entrance driveway to Jade Mountain with manicured plantings, up-lit palm trees, fountains and an impressive reception desk with a trickling water wall behind it – but that is not at all the case. The rutted, single lane 4WD track coming into the property takes 20 laborious minutes to traverse and makes you wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into. At the end you get to a covered parking garage without even a sign letting you know you’ve arrived. Reception is in a kind of shack that might be appropriate at a summer camp in Maine, but not at a place of this ostensible caliber. It’s (head shaking) definitely a highly unique, sui generis property.
The food. We ate at the Jade Mountain Club restaurant 3 out of the 5 nights and it was good but not great. It’s hard to put your finger on it; the presentations were beautiful and the service was good (particularly Earl), but we never came away thinking: ‘wow, that was delicious’. In fact, several dishes were extremely salty (which seems to be a failing common to many haut cuisine restaurants these days – but maybe it’s just us). The Treehouse restaurant down the hill had the best breakfast and the beach restaurant (the multiple names of which still baffle me) was good for casual dining and a change of pace. Note that once you arrive at the property it will be inconceivable to leave it to go eat somewhere else, like Soufriere, so it is imperative to get the all-inclusive full meal plan, or AI. Due to the extremely high cost of food and drink it would be a financial disaster to attempt to save money by paying for the room only and eating a la carte. As far as drinks go, it wasn’t obvious and took a couple of days to comprehend the system but only wines by the glass (a decent selection) and essentially all cocktails are included on the meal plan. Bottles of wine can be ordered with meals or for your room but only at significant extra cost.
Based on some trip advisor reviews I read before going, I had low expectations for the beach but it is actually very nice: palm trees, clear water warmer than the room pool and individual tiki huts. However, be sure to reserve one before about 9 a.m. either by putting some stuff down or, presumably, by calling your butler to take care of it (something we didn’t think of until on the way home). We would highly recommend taking the hotel boat (there are also private water taxi operators that require payment) over to the second beach, Anse Mamin, and going on the plantation tour with Meno. What a character, he’ll have you in stitches the whole time. There are some unexpectedly steep climbs on the walk that might be tough on those not it top condition.
Anyway, we had a great time and I don’t wish to discourage anyone from going. The “negative” comments above are meant as constructive, actionable intelligence for those considering a visit given by travelers with a fair bit of experience with high end travel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Rising majestically above its 49 room sister resort Anse Chastanet, a 600 acre beach front property, Jade Mountain is a cornucopia of organic architecture celebrating St Lucia’s stunning scenic beauty. The 29 luxury suites are called sanctuaries, sweeping spaces where 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, Jade Mountain’s sanctuaries are stage-like settings from which to embrace the full glory of St Lucia’s Pitons World Heritage Site and the Caribbean Sea. Jade Mountain has set a new standard in the Caribbean whether it is for modern design, luxury living or unique resort and guest service experiences.Wrapped around an infinity pool with a dazzling kaleidoscope of colors, the Jade Mountain Club restaurant caters exclusively to resident guests, celebrating James Beard Award winner Chef Allen Susser’s “Jade Cuisine.” Hovering in space above the Jade Mountain Club is the Celestial Terrace, perfect for sunset cocktails or star-gazing.A wide range of spa services can be enjoyed in the privacy of the Jade Mountain sanctuaries or at Kai en Ciel, Jade Mountain’s boutique spa and fitness studio. The resort major domos and a dedicated resort team ensure outstanding service around the clock.Guests may enjoy the exclusivity and privacy of Jade Mountain plus access to all of Anse Chastanet’s facilities and services: Nestled amidst a lush tropical 600 acre tropical estate with two soft sand beaches bordering pristine coral reefs, Anse Chastanet is right in the heart of the island’s marine reserves with St. Lucia’s legendary twin peaks, the Pitons, as the dramatic backdrop.The active will enjoy the resort’s amazing range of adventure facilities. Facilities include 4 restaurants & 3 bars, professional spa, PADi 5* scuba centre, water sports with kayaking centre, 12 miles of private biking and hiking trails with mountain bike rental, sailing yacht, 3 boutiques, library and art gallery. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Jade Mountain Hotel
- Hotel Jade Mountain
- Jade Mountain St Lucia
- Jade Mountain Resort St. Lucia/Soufriere