Worth getting out of bed for
Although doing nothing at all is a constant temptation at Jade Mountain (and the two private beaches certainly help), there is a wealth of more active pursuits available in this stretch of Southern St Lucia. Acres of rainforest and plantations beg to be explored – the hotel can lend you a bike to take along the 12 miles of trails. You can also organise hiking excurions up grand Piton mountain. The Sulphur Springs (known by the proud inhabitants of Soufrière as the world’s only ‘drive in’ volcano) make for an intriguing day-trip, and the waters are said to have therapeutic properties. Close by, the Diamond Botanical Gardens (www.diamondstlucia.com) share the same hot mineral waters, with the added attractions of waterfalls, greenery and a historic watermill. From the beach at Anse Chatenet, you can set off on snorkelling or scuba trips around the nearby reefs (there’s a PADI dive center), borrow a kayak and cruise the coastline, try your balance water skiing, set off on a deep sea fishing expedition or catch the sunset from aboard the resort’s yacht.
With the combined culinary offerings of Jade Mountain and the neigtbouring Anse Chastenet resort at your disposal, you scarcely need to venture far for victuals. The Anse Chastenet restaurants (which can be booked through Jade Mouantain) include tropical fine dining at Treehouse, seasonal vegetarian dishes at Emerald’s, and Trou au Diable, which serves Apsara (Caribbean-East Indian fusion) in a bistro-style setting. In a week’s stay, you have around 80 menus to pick from. If you find yourself in Soufrière, Camilla’s (+758 459 5379) is favoured among the locals for its simple and unpretentious St Lucian bites – the best people watching is from the first floor balcony. The Hummingbird (+1 758 459 7985 ), on the fringes off Soufrière may put more umbrellas in its cocktails than is strictly necessary, but there’s no faulting the fish.
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Smith extra at Jade Mountain
A free one-hour spa treatment for each guest (if staying three nights or more)