Flying over the Caribbean Sea, I saw the Pitons for the first time — two massive mountains, one bigger than the other. The dramatic peaks beckoned us toward St. Lucia’s lush jungles and tropical beaches. After we landed, we were whisked away to Jade Mountain, a cliffside oasis on St. Lucia’s southwestern coastline. Our friendly major domo, or personal butler, greeted us and led us to Nick Troubetzkoy’s architectural masterpiece. Built using indigenous materials, his bold design includes individual bridges leading to 24 infinity pool sanctuaries and stoned-faced columns reaching toward the sky. Troubetzkoy owns the property with his delightful wife, Karolin, who is the executive director of Anse Chastenet Resort and Jade Mountain Resort as well as the president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association.
I filled with anticipation outside the suite’s doorway. Troubetzkoy says, ‘Your first step inside creates an instant spiritual uplift.” This couldn’t be more true. After entering our sanctuary, I felt like I slipped from reality into a dreamscape. The open-concept space with an infinity pool and the 270 degree view of the ocean and majestic Piton Mountains was breathtaking.
During our visit, we enjoyed absolutely fantastic snorkeling in a nearby cove, swimming in the calm sea, and relaxing under thatch palapas at the resort’s two beautiful beaches. One afternoon, we luxuriated with Swedish massages in our sanctuary, provided by the resort’s excellent spa, Kai en Ciel.
In the afternoons, we loved swimming to our infinity pool’s edge to watch sailboats glide past and hummingbirds feed on red flowers. We even nicknamed a pair of lesser Antillean bullfinches that frequently landed on our chaise lounges.
The resort offers activities like chocolate making, using cocoa beans from its plantation, and visits to a mud bath near the island’s volcano. A charismatic naturalist nicknamed “Father Nature” also leads fascinating tours of the old sugar plantation and its surrounding jungle.
In the evenings, we watched the sunset from the Celestial Terrace, a panoramic lounge hovering at the top of the resort. Then we headed to Jade Mountain Club to savor outstanding four course meals created by the James Beard Award-winning chef Allen Susser, while listening to live music. The resort’s staff provided excellent service.
In our suite, I found a poetry book by Derek Walcott, St. Lucia’s Nobel laureate. This was the first time I read his beautiful poetry. He wrote, “I read, I travel, I become.” That’s how I felt when I left St. Lucia. The experience at Jade Mountain filled my being long after I got home. I still find myself thinking of the birds singing in the morning, the countless stars in the sky, and the grand Pitons rising over the sea.