With their splendid views of the Caribbean, the open-air suites at this cliffside property define tropical glamour
In Saint Lucia, halfway down the Eastern Caribbean island chain, the Jade Mountain resort offers an unusual level of seclusion in a part of the world known for its idyllic nooks and crannies. Set on a steep slope thick with tropical foliage, the boutique hotel is the kind of place that wows from within. After crossing a dramatic open-air catwalk, guests enter a modern hillside structure that looks to be part of the natural landscape.
The resort comprises 24 self-contained “sanctuaries,” each with its own look and feel, and each with an infinity pool overlooking the two spires of the Piton Mountains, which ascend dramatically from the Caribbean Sea. “The sanctuaries are … romantic,” says owner Nick Troubetzkoy with a mischievous smile.
Troubetzkoy, a Canadian architect who first came to the island on business in 1970, fell hard for the place and ended up staying. After buying and restructuring a handful of bungalows that would become the hotel Anse Chastanet, he began to formulate the idea of Jade Mountain, whose construction he supervised step-by-step. It was not a straightforward project: The remote mountainside location made it inaccessible to heavy machinery (local wheelbarrows racked up a lot of mileage). This same location, though, provides Jade Mountain with its sense of peace and unspoiled beauty, which Troubetzkoy honored through a commitment to ecologically sound design—it is the first Caribbean hotel to achieve LEED Gold certification status.
But, for Troubetzkoy, the harmonious design is not about scoring environmental points—rather, it is about making guests feel as if they themselves are part of the island, a feeling heightened by its sparing use of artificial boundaries like windows and walls. “In most hotels, you walk down a long prison-like corridor and feel condemned to your room,” he says. “Here, many of our guests won’t step out once during their stay.”
While Troubetzkoy insists that Jade Mountain “makes you not want to communicate with the wider world,” he is enough of a realist to accept that you cannot expect people to abandon their devices entirely. “Sure, they’ll inevitably take pictures that might make their friends envious,” he says. “But posting them can wait until they get home.”
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