This blog post was updated on August 6, 2021.
Picture gigantic infinity pools suspended in air across a hill, overlooking the Pitons (dual volcanic spires that are a UNESCO World Heritage site) and the Caribbean Sea. You have arrived at what is probably the most luxurious and eco-friendly all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean!
Almost by its very nature, luxury travel can seem incompatible with environmental responsibility. Spaciously private accommodations and plentiful complimentary delights don’t tend to be conducive for conserving nature and limiting consumption of resources. But maybe there is a way to experience extravagant comfort without giving up on sustainable tourism!
Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain are sister resorts sitting on 600 lush tropical acres anchored by the famous twin peaks of St Lucia and two white sand beaches. The resorts, the brainchildren of Canadian-Russian architect Nick P. Troubetzkoy, are architectural marvels that offer first-class experiences to guests while blending in harmoniously with the surrounding nature.
Built with Organic Construction
Troubetzkoy’s vision was not just to build a luxurious all-inclusive resort, but also to be all-inclusive in its construction and operations as well. He purchased Anse Chastanet, then a small beachfront hotel, in the 1970s and redesigned it to create large open spaces where each room was unique and tastefully decorated in Lucian style. He added Jade Mountain, which towers with 29 “sanctuaries” (not rooms or suites) suspended above the tree line leading up a slope away from the beach, in 2006.
The hotels were built organically using materials found in the Caribbean. Over 20 different species of tropical hardwood flooring and trims were harvested using environmentally friendly methods. Wood was handpicked in Guyana, interior walls were covered with blue coral plaster quarried in Barbados, and steel and concrete were brought in from Trinidad. No bulldozers were used for the construction of the hotels so that the hillsides would be safe from erosion.
A woodwork shop was even established on the grounds, where local artisans came to build furniture, doors, and artwork that was used throughout the properties.
A Private Experience, Connected with Nature
Unlike other all-inclusive resorts, Anse Chastanet is rather small and private. Its 49 octagonal rooms are constructed in such a way that you can never see a neighbor’s patio but you can still get a great view over the lush tropical gardens, mountains, and the sea. With wrap-around balconies, wooden-louvered doors, and often missing fourth walls, you will feel nestled in a luxurious treehouse. At night, the cool ocean breeze will ease you to sleep on your four-poster canopy bed; and chirping tropical birds will awaken you at sunrise.
At Jade Mountain, you never need to leave your secluded sanctuary. Guests arrive by helicopter at the only private heliport on the island and go across a private bridge leading to their room with 15-foot ceilings, an in-room infinity pool or Jacuzzi, and a 24-hour butler service. It’s the ultimate destination for honeymooners looking for pampering and privacy!
Any stay at Anse Chastanet or Jade Mountain comes with access to 8,000 feet of Caribbean coastline, as well as 12 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails through the rainforest. You can discover the ruins of a 300-year-old sugar plantation and other secret spots while touring with a resident guide or exploring on your own. There’s also guided birdwatching, historic sites, yoga, and jungle treks, as well as plenty of in-house water sports. Anse Chastanet features a marine reserve with dive and scuba facilities, as well as complimentary snorkeling, windsurfing, sunfish sailing, and kayaking.
You may also like: The Art of the Green Getaway or How to be a Sustainable Traveler
Fashionably Sustainable While Giving Back to the Community
The privately owned family business that operates both Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain kept sustainable travel in mind when building the resorts, even when no one else on the island was doing it. Each wall of the rooms was placed to avoid the use of air conditioners and instead use natural airflow for cooling — a design feature that contributed to Jade Mountain becoming the first Caribbean resort to be certified LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council, one of the highest levels in the green building rating system, in 2016.
The resorts also use water reservoirs, self-filtering, and pumping plants to provide clean water for guests; while kitchen waste is given to local farmers for animal feed and used kitchen oil is used to make soap, detergent, and biofuel.
There are a variety of restaurants between the two resorts, from fine Caribbean dining to vegetarian and East Indian fusion, which serve organic fruits and vegetable grown at their Anse Mamin and Emerald Estate farm. They also grow over 1,000 cacao trees and guests can even make their own bean-to-bar chocolates during their stay.
But it’s not just solely about doing right by the environment. Both resorts employ about 95% of their staff from St Lucia; locals in need of career skills were provided job training in the hospitality industry and over 1,000 local craftsman and workers helped build both properties.
There’s also a direct philanthropic and service commitment to the local community through the support and sponsorship of school meal programs, computer centers, basketball courts, and cricket tournaments.
A few years ago, Anse Chastanet was recognized at the St. Lucia Business Awards, earning (among others) the Award for Service Excellence and the Green Award. In previous years, the resorts of have taken home many other awards, including the prestigious Counterpart International Emerald Award “for high-end resorts combining a commitment to luxury and to the use of tourism to improve the destination, its people, and the environment.”
So if you’re thinking about booking cheap flights in August for a luxury getaway in the Caribbean, but are conscious of the fact that luxury accommodations can take a toll on the environment, why not consider Anse Chastanet or it’s sister property Jade Mountain? You can rest easy knowing that your stay is actually having a positive impact in the environment and making a difference to the lives of many in this beautiful community.
The author of this post has either a relationship with or received other compensation from the product or service providers that are featured in this writing.