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“Million Dollar View - Almost Literally”

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Jade Mountain Resort
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Soufriere
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Haymarket, Virginia
Level Contributor
62 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Million Dollar View - Almost Literally”
Reviewed 24 January 2010

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.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
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17 Thank bellknob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Coastal South Carolina, South Carolina
Level Contributor
58 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2010

Fantastic resort, great room, views and service. Spent our honeymoon there and we still talk about it. Personal butler and all the extras! If you can't be romantic there...can't be anywhere. Worth the money!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank 007Damselfly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 January 2010

I have found the perfect way to describe Jade Mountain:
"It's not worth the money we spent to go there but if that's what it costs to go to a place like Jade Mountain then do it."
My husband and I spent the week of our honeymoon at Jade Mountain. I dreamed about this place and stared at pictures for months in advance, I was almost as excited about the honeymoon as I was about our wedding.

The Good:
The food, my goodness, the food is fantastic. To this day I find myself wishing we had a Jade Club restaurant in Canada. Everything from the snacks, to the drinks, to the main entrees were never, ever disappointing.
The rooms {do I even need to mention this?} breath taking, very clean, and very spacious considering there is a pool in your room as well. The rooms are why I say to spend the money. You'll never see anything like it anywhere else in the world!
The beach - it's St. Lucia; you can just assume the beaches are going to be nice.

The {kind of} Bad:
We are not rich, we are newlyweds, and so spending just over $14,500 on a vacation is something we really had to sacrifice for. I have to confess, I wasn’t blown away by the service.. I'm sure they tried :) but personally, I feel I was taken better care of at the Dreams in Puerto Vallarta (a fraction of the price).
I'm only being honest but I feel like we were never treated 'special', more so, I felt we were expected to feel privileged to be staying at a place like Jade Mountain - My friends, I could have renovated my kitchen for the cost of this vacation - Jade Mountain was a choice.
I have to say this, we got what we paid for, cannot complain about that. However, I find it rather embarrassing when discussing our rooms to other couples only to discover that everyone else was upgraded to at least one level higher and we were not.

Additional Notes:
**Something to mention - the major domos {we had two and they were very kind and pleasant} however, the entire 'idea' needs to be rethought. I'd much rather get a bucket of ice for myself than to have to wait {and wait} for someone to bring it. This is just a small example, I'm not here to get into details.

**The activity vouchers - We booked the total romance package and were given many different activity vouchers to use during our stay. A very, very nice touch. We loved the sunset sail, very romantic.

**Make sure you pay the extra money to have dinner on the beach. Let me tell you, our waiter was exactly what you'd expect from a high-end resort like this and the food was excellent.

**Bring an extra $450 and spend it on the helecopter ride on the way back to the airport. The view, the relaxation, and the amount of time in which you get to the airport is worth it alone.

Aren’t I horrible? Going on and on like this! Rewind 6 months ago I felt like the luckiest most excited woman in the world. Something changed that when we were at Jade Mountain. You might roll your eyes when you read this review 'another reviewer to difficult to please' I disagree - Go, experience it, it's amazing and gorgeous - but when you get home, in the back of your mind, you'll know what I'm talking about.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Sandi88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 January 2010

Let me start by saying that I thought the hotel was beautiful, the architecture very interesting and quirky (which I am a big fan of) and the views unparalleled. BUT...and not that this is exactly the fault of Jade Mountain, when you are rated 3rd best in the word and best in the Caribbean expectations are high and unfortunately for me (and my fellow travelers) expectations were not met.

Jade Mountain gets all the big things right...stunning views, service and wow of location but it's a lot of little things they get wrong (which makes the difference between a great resort and a resort of distinction.)

First off, our ride to Jade Mountain was a disgrace. I have been to the top resorts in the world and usually you are met at the airport with a comfortable car, served some sort of drink (water, fruit juice anything) given a wet towel something. We were met in a junky van, with a trunk that kept popping open. We had to stop 15 times. When we finally made our assent to the resort there was no grand entrance to let you know you've arrived somewhere special. The road to the resort was not paved. It was in terrible disrepair.

The rooms as I mentioned are indeed spectacular with views to match. The pools are beautiful. The beds, not so much. The sheets were scratchy and uncomfortable. The blanket the same. The bathrooms were nice but unremarkable. The tissues (I know i'm nitpicking but still how do you have dollar store tissues in a hotel marked highest in the world?) were sub par.

Because the rooms are all open, noise is an issue. You can hear all the staff clomp around in heavy shoes (why not have soft soled shoes?) and the doorbells ring so loud and long you can hear them in every room. It's like being in Big Ben's chime house. Why do they need to have such loud doorbells? It's jarring.

I realize there is a pool in every room, but sometimes you want to get out of the room and relax on a sun deck or somewhere else. There is no such place in Jade Mountain. There is a roof deck but there are no lounge chairs up there. Just regular seats. There should be a big beautiful communal pool as well.

The beach is not worthy of such a highly rated hotel either. I understand the beach is public and part of the Anse Chastenet resort as well, but the service at the beach was horrendous. It could take up to a half hour to get service even after hoisting your flag. Why not have a separate beach for Jade Mountain? We often would get to the beach and have all the huts taken already (the huts were in pretty bad repair too...with plastic laminated menus nailed to the posts.) The chairs were uncomfortable. Just a lot of surprising things.

The Spa too is not full service. Usually, in a resort of this nature there is a big beautiful spa with steam room, hot tubs, and extensive services. This spa was average and something I would expected at a Hilton.

We were at the resort for a full week. Perhaps, that was too long for a resort of this nature. Last year we stayed at the Aman in Turks and Caicos and it was heads and tails nicer than Jade Mountain. I guess I just made the mistake of heightened expectations.

There is no doubt that Jade Mountain is beautiful resort with many pluses, I just think the in room pools and open plan room don't in and of themselves make up for the complete picture of a truly luxurious resort. I think the resort needs a couple more years of refinement and it will get there eventually, it's just not there yet.

While, I probably will not return to Jade Mountain, I can highly recommend a visit there. Just don't expect the top rated hotel in the world.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank cjthekid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nyc
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2010

This place is paradise. Everything about it was magnificent. The rooms are unmatched. Each featuring a private infinity pool and an open air room with one wall missing, opening your heart and soul to nature. It is everything romantic and beautiful. The service was fantastic. We had our own butler who was there for anything we could have possibly required. The jade mountain restaurant is out of this world. We were served a 10 lb lobster and when we met the chef we were surprised to find out that he was so young, yet so unbelievably talented and accomplished. I cant say enough wonderful things about this place. We truly miss it and no vacation will ever measure up. Nature at its most beautiful and service at its finest. I should make clear that this is for lovebirds. Dont expect partying, just romance, wonderful food, fantastic accomodations and impeccable service.

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank zoinyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raleigh, NC
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2010

My husband and I visited Jade Mountain for 4 nights during our honeymoon to St.Lucia. We had an amazing experience here. We were upgraded from our Star to a Moon sanctuary. The pool was amazingly large and swept through the entire length of the room. We stayed in JB4, which is only two levels up. We considered that having a room a little bit higher, may have been nice, but then again, we didn't have to walk up too far after we returned from the beach.
The service at this place is amazing. We were looked after so well. The Major Domos are really there to help you with anything.
We had the AI plan that worked out well for us. We were able to have in-room breakfasts, lunches at Jade Club or on the beach at the restaurant there. Most of our dinners were at the Jade Club b/c we had heard that would be the best. However, your AI plan includes all of Anse Chastenet's restaurants and we heard Treehouse was very good.
We spent a lot of time on the beach. The service on the beach for lunch and drinks was very fast.
We went to Anse Mamin beach one morning, which is to the right of the beach at Anse Chastenet. I wasn't a big fan. It is more secluded, but the water entry at Anse Mamin was very rocky - if you want to swim in the beach.
The massages we had were excellent. We had the 60 min swedish couples massage. It was unlike anything I have gotten in the US. Well worth the money.
On our last night, our Major Domo had made us a nice jacuzzi bath and also decorated our bed with flowers. We had a wonderful time at this place and hope to go back someday soon.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank rdesaipatel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wilmington, North Carolina
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 December 2009

Sandy and I were some of the very first guests at Jade Mountain at Anse Chastenet just outside Soufrierre in St. Lucia. This is an amazing five-star boutique resort with world class diving just off the resort beach. Hiking, Sailing, Diving, Eating, Spa! Amazing!

Stayed October 2007, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank chrisherndon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Jade Mountain Resort

Property: Jade Mountain Resort
Address: 100 Anse Chastanet Rd | PO Box 4000, Soufriere, St. Lucia
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Soufriere Quarter > Soufriere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Soufriere
#1 Green Hotel in Soufriere
#1 Romantic Hotel in Soufriere
#1 Luxury Hotel in Soufriere
#7 Family Hotel in Soufriere
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Jade Mountain Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 29
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

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