Via Anse Chastanet, via crazy, crazy roads. Fellow guests at Anse and Jade joke about reasons why the road going to these 2 resorts is so bad. To increase taxi usage is one of them. Haha. Unless you have a 4x4 with some sort of decent power, this road is not for everyone. The initial hill climb out of Soufriere towards Anse Chastanet is long, steep and bumpy. And continues so for the next little while. At times we questioned if we were even going the right way as there was no signs or any indication that lead us to believe otherwise.
Jade Mountain is only accessible to the public through Anse Chastanet. On arrival we were greeted warmly by the security at the entrance gate and they even parked our vehicle for us. There is a parking lot on the left and a smaller one on the right. The right one is for Jade Mountain guests. A shuttle promptly arrived for us, loaded our luggage and took us up to Jade - all the while pointing out the rooms and buildings of the property. The small road up to Jade can only accommodate one vehicle; it's pretty narrow with built-in steps down the middle. On arrival at Jade, we were welcomed by the general manager and several staff. Everyone was very nice and we were guided to the reception building. It was about 1:30pm or so, and we were pleased to see that our room was ready for us well in advance of the usual 3pm check-in time.
Our Moon Sanctuary for the next 3 nights will be JA5. The way the rooms are set up in Jade Mountain is that the Sky Sanctuary is set on the lowermost part of Jade property. Then every floor above that each consists of the Star, Moon and Sun Sanctuaries. Each room is different and has its own personality. No two sanctuaries are the same, so each stay can be unique.
You're assigned a series of butlers, or Major Domos as they're called. Our head Major Domo was Vito but it was Filliner that we saw the most. She was exceptionally accommodating. We're told that we can call on them with our provided Firefly (a mini cell phone) with just about any wish we desired. They were there for us on demand. Although we seldom used them, the one time I called and Vito answered, he seemed bothered and uninterested. I was only asking a simple question regarding the contents of our stocked fridge. I guess everyone has their off day, but at a resort such as Jade, I don't believe that should be apparent to guests no matter what.
Filliner showed us to our room and its features. JA5 is very spacious and has a very large pool. We absolutely loved it. The best room we've had on this honeymoon for sure. It was contemporary and the view of both Pitons is immaculate. We never felt our privacy to be compromised at any time by the lack of a 4th wall. Everything is clean and there were no flying bugs present. We're pretty lucky to not experience any annoying bugs! At all!
Monday nights at Jade Mountain, they have a Manager's Cocktail Party at the Jade Club. Dressed smart casual, we arrived there at about 6:30pm by means of the many mini journeys up the series of stairs. I'm a pretty fit guy and even these ones made me a little tired on arrival. Being warmly greeted with complimentary Chardonnays and other wines is most welcoming. We were able to meet with the majority of the staff there, as well as staff from Anse Chastanet. They made it their duty to greet everyone and chat with you, so you're not standing there by yourself. It was great and we really enjoyed it. We were able to talk with their Executive Chef, Jonathan Dearden, and learned a little of his background. For starters, he's only 23 years old! I've never met a younger Executive Chef, but he's certainly earned his belonging at Jade. The tasters we were able to sample were delicious. But they're always tasters, even at Ladera. Why aren't these on the menu?! We learned that Jonathan hails from Florida and has started at quite a young age. By 19 years old, he had already won various awards and had paid off his condo. Then he's managed to make his way over to St. Lucia as Executive Chef for Jade Mountain. Quite impressive indeed.
Our dinner at Jade Club following the Cocktail party was pretty good. On the first night, we were not on their meal plan, but were scheduled to be on the meal plan on the remaining days. So this dinner would be charged to our room. We had the Lobster Main Course, a whole one for me and a half lobster for my wife in addition to some appetizers, Argentina Chardonnay by the glass and a cocktail. Although the wait was a little longer than previous dining establishments we've visited so far in our previous resorts, the presentation of our meal was excellent. The lobster both seemed to be of equal portions even though I ordered a full and my wife a half. It was good, but had a different distinctive taste that you have to acquire. In the end, because of the lobster surcharge, our bill was $232 USD. Not for the faint of heart.
Overall, the ambience in Jade was definitely executive class. Before your main course, you're presented with a small bowl of flavored ice to clean your palette. Cutlery is exchanged in between each stage of your meal and bread is freshly cut in front of you to your liking. Certainly not your Cagneys.
I was 29 years old, my wife 27, and we were certainly the youngest couple there. The median age, from our observation there would be about 40-50+. The Jade Club staff was very genuinely friendly and seemed to value their jobs.
A well rested night sleep was in order following our dinner. Our breakfast the next morning was to be delivered to our room for 8am. Ordering breakfast to your room involved filling out your order on forms provided in your room, and placing them in a certain pouch and placing them outside your door. Then you press a button by your door and they know to come and get the order. We did this each day so every morning was breakfast delivered. Our breakfast included 2 eggs scrambled, 2 eggs poached, sausages, bacon, a fruit platter, bread, muffin and juice. Although breakfast is included in our accommodation, you still have to sign for it and each morning the amount shown on the bill was valued at about $55 USD.
Around noon we made our way down to Anse Chastanet beach. Guests staying at either resort have the privilege of using the beach huts to the right of the beach. Complete with butler service. Towels are provided for you, layed out on your lounge chair and all. Each hut has food and drink menus as well as a yellow butler flag. When you require their services for ordering something, you place the flag out in the sand they'll come by. Each time we put it out, they were by within a minute. The drinks we ordered arrived fairly quickly. As long as it takes for them to walk from our hut to the bar and back. On our Wednesday trip out to Anse Chastanet beach, we ordered some lunch which consisted of Caesar salad, chicken Caesar salad and chicken club sandwiches. That delicious meal with some cocktails arrived fairly quickly as well with a signing of a value of $75 USD. I'd also like to mention that at Jade and Anse, as with most places in St. Lucia, 10% gratuity is already included. But unlike Stonefield and Ladera, they only require you to sign for it and don't give you the option of adding any additional tips. But considering the prices of the meals here, its better this way. Our meals here and the remaining nights are now all inclusive. Good thing, kind of... but more on that later.
The water here is as equally warm as Jalousie with the main difference being the sand is volcanic black sand compared to Jalousie's imported white sands. It did feel a little warmer on your feet. The water was a little choppier as it didn't have the shelter of the 2 Pitons as did Jalousie. But with that said, snorkeling at Anse is much better! To the left of the beach by the Scuba Shop, behind the designated buoys is fantastic. Being a designated marine park, undersea life is abundant. At one point while diving down about 10-15 feet below, a large eel popped out in between some rocks to greet me! A little startling but I managed to keep my breath and observed it for the moment. It's hard to believe how busy it gets down under. Truly a whole new world, one that we wish we could experience on demand.
4pm saw us in front of the Scuba Shop waiting for our boat for the Sunset Cruise we had booked earlier with Mystic Man Tours. On schedule, arrived a fella on smaller motorized inflatable to take us to the boat anchored out further. After boarding our boat, we learned that there was nobody else booked for the cruise and with great surprise our cruise has been upgraded to Private! Just my wife and I, and the captain and first mate. Pitons and Champaign were complimentary and we welcomed it accordingly. The cruise would be 2 hours long, departing Anse Chastanet and going towards the Pitons and then back. We had free range of the boat and were able to sit on the bow during the cruise. We also conversed quite deeply with the crew about their way of life on a more personal level. Things you can't usually do if there were several other couples on board too. We learned lots on this sunset cruise.
At about 6pm the sun is setting and we were told to watch carefully as at the precise moment when it sets, there is a green flash from the way the light is reflected through the light spectrum. Sure enough, we saw it and it was beautiful. This is the epitome of what a sunset cruise is about. Before ending our cruise, I gave them a $20 USD tip. Well worth it, considering how fortunate we were to end up getting a private cruise.
Trou au Diable Restaurant:
Tuesday night dinner, we enjoyed a fabulous BBQ down at the Trou au Diable restaurant (Anse Chastanet). Their Caesar salad is traditional and the best I've had yet on this island. I had the shrimp and fish kabob with rice off the grill and was able to get a portion that was satisfying for my appetite. The meal was excellent; the atmosphere more lively and really does wake you up. The staff is wonderful, courteous, friendly and easy to talk to. We felt welcomed and catered to at this smart casual restaurant
Once signed for our meal, we made our way to the bar for some more cocktails and there was a Steel Drums band playing. They really do a great job at creating and directing the nightlife atmosphere. Staffs were dancing on their runs, etc. We were having the time of our life. It differed here greatly compared to up at Jade Club. Having the opportunity to set your experience by the mood you're in, or would like to be in, at one linked-in resort is great! It was pretty late by the time we made the trek back up to our room. We opted to walk back - well, my wife opted to walk back - but at any time we could've asked the bar or security to call us a shuttle. A night swim in our infinity pool before bed was in order.
Meal Plan Discrepancy - Overcharged (Jade Mountain):
As it was our last night, they also present you with your bill. To my surprise, instead of $150 USD per day that they widely and openly advertised, we were charged $290 per day for the meal plan. As I brought this to their attention in the morning prior to checkout, they insisted that - and I quote - "That is the price. $145 per person for the meal plan." By now they had me questioning myself so without making a big issue out of it, I signed for it.
Nonetheless, after reviewing their website's advertised price and prior e-mails from them regarding prices, it was apparent that they had outright lied to me. It is not, in no way was or will be $145 per person ($290) for the meal plan per day. From such a high end resort as Jade Mountain, something like this is a big surprise and unexpected. But it happened and currently I'm still trying to get this resolved. Being overcharged by $330 in total is one thing, but being lied to about it is just unacceptable. No matter what the reputation of an establishment, big or small.
Although our stay was wonderful, with certainly great memories and hospitality, a negative experience such as this is one that dominates memories. After several e-mails to them regarding this issue, some I've had to send again because they failed to reply the first time (after a week of waiting), they replied back to tell me that it was the price that my travel agent said to charge. Again, that is also not true as I've contacted my travel agent about it. So where it stands at the moment, my travel agent will be trying to contact them about this for me. Regardless, even if it was an oversight or mistake that the travel agent made regarding meal plan prices, you would think that Jade Mountain would point it out and charge accordingly to what they advertise. Not trying to score extra money from an already $1400/night room.
Update: After several e.mail conversations later, I have now figured out that they have 2 different rates. Their advertised MAP rate and an unadvertised "All Inclusive" rate. What's strange is that their AI rate is not at a set price, but varies very widely. When booking online through several other sites, when you add in the AI option, prices per night I've found to have varied from hundreds of dollars. They must do this to be able to accommodate and adjust to certain conditions. I'm not really sure. But it did take awhile to figure that out. They could've just plainly explained that they have 2 different rates. Both to myself and our travel agent (who was also not made aware). In the end, all is good.
Jade Mountain resort is indeed an absolutely breathtaking sanctuary. A special place that will forever be with us shared on our honeymoon memories for all times.
- 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