We were lucky enough to spend a week here this winter. Words don’t do it justice, but I’ll try my best.
If you’re having trouble remembering what luxury travel is like, try to imagine yourself sipping bubbly champagne from an infinity pool. Now, imagine having that infinity pool all to yourself. Finally, imagine the reflection of immense St. Lucian mountains reflecting off of it. And that’s not all.
What you need to know about Jade Mountain
Jade Mountain calls their open-air private suites sanctuaries. And that’s in no way a misnomer.
Jade Mountain features 5 different kinds of sanctuaries, each with carefully articulated and unique designs. We sampled two of them: the Galaxy and Sun sanctuaries. Let me foreshadow: both were epic.
If you want to see more than the mind-blowing view of the Piton Mountains and Caribbean Sea from your sanctuary, don’t fret. You have over 600 acres of land to explore – including two soft-sand beaches, a tennis court, and a farm. Yes, this resort has its own farm, aptly named the Emerald Farm.
With access to windsurfs, sunfish sailboats, kayaks, diving, snorkeling, and mountain biking, you won’t have enough time to enjoy this slice of paradise.
The resort even owns a 60 foot catamaran that goes out on sunset cruises – private if desired. Watch out; you just might see some whales from the sailboat. Recently, more than eight sperm whales were spotted together from a “Jazzy” sunset cruise.
And yes, all of this can be done during your stay right at Jade Mountain.
Jade Mountain’s COVID-19 Protocols: too much or too little?
Before my trip, I was worried about Covid-19 protocols; would they be either too obtrusive or too lean? After traveling to 30 countries during the pandemic, I had seen it all.
My worries evaporated as soon as I stepped out of the airport. Our private transportation was waiting for us, the driver smiling under face mask.
As soon as we reached the property, the Jade Mountain staff sanitized our luggage and took our temperatures. The lovely staff wore their face masks but there was no pretense about social distancing where it’s not possible.
The best part about the resort is it is practically entirely outdoors. You will never need to enter a fully enclosed building. Jade Mountain prides themselves about missing a fourth wall just about everywhere – including your sanctuary. Because of that, you always feel that warm, uplifting ocean breeze.
There is an open-air restaurant on the top two levels, but you can have any meal delivered to your sanctuary. That was our choice most of the time; private dining, wonderful views all to ourselves, and minimal interaction with others (our personal preference).
We weren’t asked to wear our masks for outdoor activities like kayaking or sailing where it doesn’t make sense anyways.
Jade Mountain’s Endless Activities
St. Lucia’s Ministry of Health has banned offsite excursions, but this means Jade Mountain is even more desirable.
No resort in St. Lucia (and probably the entire Caribbean) offers as much to do in one place.
There are just so many land and sea-based activities at Jade Mountain that you’d need weeks to do them all. And because it’s such a large property, you still get to see the best parts of St. Lucia.
Here again, I felt so much relief when I witnessed the step-by-step approach Jade Mountain has taken for their immense number of activities. You basically just show up and enjoy St. Lucia’s magnficence.
On our second full day, a shuttle came up to drive us down to the beach (alternately, you can walk 10-15 minutes), where we met with our guide to begin our kayak cruise over to the Piton mountains.
I enjoyed every minute – from the time I left the sanctuary to the time I was (seemingly) hovering over coral reefs in fully-transparent turquoise water on a well outfitted Kayak (with a rudder!)
Everything was organized and laid out to keep the journey as fun as always and as safe as possible. Our guide went over kayaking techniques and taught us how to navigate the waters as efficiently as possible.
The Jade Mountain Spa Experience
Our package included a free couple’s massage, which we scheduled for our last full day. For no additional charge, they brought the spa to our sanctuary!
It was a perfect trifecta: the view, the breeze, and my first (professional) massage! The masseuses were absolute pros. The combination of the sea breeze, unbelievable Caribbean views from our sanctuary, and wonderful massage led to a deep relaxation for the rest of the afternoon. And great sleep, even on our last night.
COVID Exit Testing at Jade Mountain
Since the advent of new CDC requirements including PCR/Antigen testing within 72 hours of departure to the US, hotels and resorts around the world have (chaotically) scrambled to piece together solutions.
Jade Mountain had already been offering free rapid/antigen testing for months, including free PCR testing if you’re staying more than 5 nights. They are partnered with a doctor who comes on-site to perform the tests – so you don’t even have to leave the property.
Our major domo (butler) had our rapid test conveniently scheduled in between our planned activities, two days prior to travel. We had our results handed to us in an envelope the next day, allowing us to enjoy continued peace of mind.
Food to Match the Views
I thought I was pretty good at preparing Red Snapper…. that was before our first meal here. The fresh bread at breakfast teleported my taste buds to the Côte d’Azur in France, plus some magnificent Caribbean views for my eyes to feast on. And the coconut rum shrimp…. I did not miss a single afternoon of ordering it.
I was really surprised at how fresh the food here was, so I asked my major domo how they did it. Apparently, most of the food is fresh from their farm. And their chocolate lab. And they buy all their fish from local fishermen. I liked that answer.
You can enjoy dining in a multitude of restaurants, including one that’s fully vegan/vegetarian. Or, if you’re like me, you can enjoy the solitude of eating in your own sanctuary. Alternately, if you desire, Jade Mountain will arrange private dining on the beach for you. To be more precise, on either of the two beaches they own. Not bad.
I can’t remember eating food this marvelously delicious outside of five-star Michelin restaurants or outside of Italy. The freshness is unreal, and I have yet to find any meal anything less than splendid.
Jade Mountain: The BEST Travel Experience we’ve ever had.
As a frequent traveler who’s been to over 70 countries, I can tell you that nothing compares to the experience we had at Jade Mountain.
There’s more to do here in this one place than on most islands. And better food. And the best service.
From having butlers on-call and food available 24/7 to having two private beaches at your disposal to having complimentary kayaks and sunfish and windsurfs, you’ll never be bored or hungry.
And you’ll probably even forget the year 2020 was..