Curated by: Lucas Santos & Ben Dumas
Travel Period: March 2017
Traveled With: Just Us
Typical Weather: 80 degree days and 70 degree nights, passing showers in the morning.
Getting There: NYC - St. Lucia direct on Jet Blue - 4.5 hours - Approx. $400 each round trip
Getting Around: Taxi's and Water Taxi
St. Lucia is an island of unspoiled beauty in the Eastern Caribbean. We were lucky enough to visit two of the most beautiful hotels on our long weekend in St. Lucia. Both were in the Soufrière area, on the west side of island sandwiched in between the iconic Pitons. After a long winter in NYC, St. Lucia was the perfect way to spend the end of March. The first part of our trip was spent at Jade Mountain, which is one of the most impressive and special places we've ever been - paradise. Then we made our way over via a short water taxi to Sugar Beach Viceroy which also proved to be amazing. This trip was all about treating ourselves, getting some sun, and truly relaxing.
Jade Mountain - One of the few trips we've been on where the hotel really is the destination. Jade Mountain is a 29 room hotel built right into the cliff side, with breathtaking and unobstructed views of the Pitons everywhere you look. They call each of the rooms sanctuaries, each containing their own private infinity pool and at least one open air wall looking out to the ocean. There are no electronics in any of the rooms except for the old-school mini cell phone they give you to contact your butler 24/7 for literally anything you need. With expansive rooms, mostly full of honeymooners who don't leave, we felt complete privacy and seclusion. We would recommend Jade Mountain every single day of our lives to anyone who is looking to treat themselves for a few days in a magical, unspoiled, and entirely off-the-grid relaxing experience.
- The Galaxy level rooms are the top category at Jade Mountain, most with 180 degree views of the ocean and Pitons. Room JD1 is the biggest on the property, with JE1 containing the largest private pool. We stayed in the Moon level room (JA5) and had incredible views of both Pitons (see pictures below).
- The ride from Hewanorra airport to Jade Mountain is just over an hour. It gets extremely bumpy and windy towards the end, which we thought made our arrival to Jade even sweeter. But if you wanted to be really bougie and ridiculous, there is a helipad on the property that gets you there in under 10 minutes.
SEE & DO
- Anse Chastanet Beach - Just a 5 minute walk down the hill, past Jade's sister hotel Anse Chastanet, you'll find a beautiful stretch of sand with a beach bar and restaurant, plenty of lounge chairs, water sports, great snorkeling, hammocks, and very few people around (they're all in their private pool rooms). We'd recommend chairs 6 & 8 which is right in front of the water, within WiFi range, and most importantly, close to the beach bar.
- Anse Mamin Beach - A 10 minute walk through the rock path on the far right-hand-side of the beach you'll find an even more secluded and remote stretch of beach. This was our favorite beach in St Lucia. Nice sand, jungle backdrop, complete with a few loungers and one little rustic beach shack, but not much else. This is also where you'll find the best burger on the island as told to us by every local - see below.
- Snorkeling - This was our favorite beach activity by far. The huge cliff to the left-hand side of the beach has some pretty impressive reefs and there, you'll find a huge variety of fish, sting rays, and sea urchins. We don't normally take a break from our beach drinks, but this was entirely worth it.
- Sailing - Lots of options if you want a bit of an excursion, our favorite being the sunset 'jazzy' cruise. This is 2-3 hour long catamaran sailing trip leaves right from Anse Chastanet Beach around 3:30 or 4PM and includes drinks, light bites, and some island jazz. This Jazzy Cruise only happens once a week on Thursday's so don't miss out.
- Sulfer Springs - Close to the volcano and full of warm springs which are said to have healing properties. But be warned, it smells!
- Kai en Cial Spa - The Spa at Jade Mountain is top notch. We both got one of the best deep tissue massages we've ever had. They have private treatment rooms, couples rooms, or they will even bring the massage to your private room!
- They have yoga every morning on the top terrace level of the hotel, so you can start your day off right with 360 degree views even when downward dogging.
EAT & DRINK
- Jade Mountain Club - Modern fusion menu which is based around local fresh ingredients from Jade's organic farm, Emerald's. You dine at the main restaurant or have your butler bring everything to your room, which is perfect for breakfast and lunch while lounging by the pool. For breakfast, try the '60 minute egg' which is a tasty combo of egg, truffle, and pancetta.
- Trou au Diable - Restaurant down on Anse Chastanet Beach with a more casual vibe, and great dirty martini's! All the fresh seafood and ceviche was amazing!
- Jungle Grill - Laid back beach bar on Anse Mamin Beach with one of the best burgers ever, made from local beef and fresh organic bread.
- We also loved the traditional West Indies inspired Caribbean dish called Roti - delicious grilled flour pancake filled with various foods, including curried chicken, goat, shrimp, and chickpeas.
- Beach Bar - Our favorite drink was called The Bentley, but we also really liked one called Camila's Voodoo (which was pretty deadly, in a good way). And don't forget the local beer, appropriately called Piton, which Jade keeps fully stocked in your fridge. The bottles are a little smaller so don't be alarmed if you've had 8 by the end of the day.
- They also have a large variety of culinary activities like cooking lessons, chocolate tastings, rum mixology class - and much more. Again, your butler can set these up!
Sugar Beach Viceroy - This was our second stop in St. Lucia and it definitely stood its ground after we stayed at Jade Mountain where our expectations were set very high. Both resorts are very different and have their own charm. Sugar Beach is the only white sand beach on the island and it gives the resort an exclusive, special touch. The resort is much larger than Jade Mountain, with 88 rooms in the property, ranging from garden view premium luxury cottages all the way to beach front bungalows and multi-room residences. We stayed in room 306, which was a premium luxury ocean-view cottage. Our room had its own private plunge pool and was a short 5 minute walk to the beach.
- Just like Jade Mountain, every room comes with its own dedicated butler who can help you with any questions or reservations you may have during your stay.
- In our opinion, the residences or the beach-front bungalow are the best accommodations on the property, but they come with a hefty price tag. For those traveling in larger groups or with family, we'd recommend the residence since it feels like a home away from home with all the luxury resort details.
- The 100's room clusters are the best in the property as they are the largest rooms and the closest to the beach. Residence #106 was our favorite as it was directly in front of the private adults-only beach and pier bar with its infinity pool blending in with the ocean in the background.
- The property has 4 restaurants and just as many bars so its easy to switch around during your stay.
- The hotel will coordinate a car service for your airport transfer, which comes out to around $70 and takes approximately one hour.
SEE & DO
- Rainforest Spa - Definitely plan a couple's massage at the resort's Rainforest Spa. Ask for the room with the private natural spring plunge pool, called "Busera." Before your spa appointment, we'd also recommend walking around the Rainforest trail (5-10 minutes) to check out some of the massive trees in the property.
- Snorkel - There are some great coral reefs along the edge of the Petit Piton to the right-hand side of the beach. We loved doing this and would recommend it over a full on scuba or snorkeling half-day boat ride.
- Glenconner Beach - This is the private beach to the left-hand side of the main Sugar Beach. You have to walk over past the adult-only pier and there you'll find this secluded stretch of beach. This is where Viceroy Resorts will be building the new for-sale only residences, but when we went it still felt like it was a while's away.
EAT & DRINK
- Great Room Restaurant - This was by far the best dining experience we had on the island. It compares to any of the top tasting menu restaurants that we've been to in NYC. We treated ourselves to this on our last night and it was just perfect. They also have a local jazz duet that plays from 8-10pm just outside the restaurant at the Palm Court Lounge. We loved the truffle risotto, the mushroom trio, the seared scallops, and the langoustine salad!
- Bayside Restaurant - This was a nice post-sunset early dinner situation. They have daily musical performances (steel drum band being one of them) which makes the entire atmosphere feel that much more beachy. The seafood bisque was out of control good - definitely recommend this!
- Beach Front Bayside Bar - When you're at the beach, the servers will come to your beach chairs and take your order for the Bayside Bar. The best thing they had on the menu was actually a chicken spring roll from the kids menu. BASIL TWIST is the best drink in the whole world, holy shit. We ordered it virgin and naturally added our own vodka because Sugar Beach is ridiculously overpriced.
- Cane Bar - We came here after dinner since its the only spot that stays open past 10pm and has a great party vibe on the weekend. They also have some great Asian/Sushi dishes to snack on if you're still hungry after dinner.