Jade Mountain, St Lucia
The lowdown At first sight, the thing that registers about luxury resort Jade Mountain is its resemblance to a (very chic) villain's lair in a James Bond movie. A hilltop, jungle-hidden hotel, it's an eco architectural masterpiece, with gemstone-coloured glass walkways to all of its sumptuous sanctuaries (that’s bedrooms to you and me.) Ridiculously photogenic, it's of little wonder that it's a hot spot for honeymooners and celebrities alike. Amy Winehouse - a fan of the unspoilt beauty of St Lucia and its super chilled and friendly inhabitants - was a past guest and had booked once again to stay at the hotel to celebrate her 28th birthday, one she sadly never reached. Still, let's move on. Visitors to Jade Mountain can expect a true, once in a lifetime experience. Honeymooners are known to stay in their fabulous sanctuaries for days on end - everything can be catered for in your room including the food, much of which is fresh - and often exotic – produced daily from the hotel's own organic farm. Meanwhile, expect to be charmed by the discreet attention of the hotel's 'Major Domos', the moniker given to the staff who are trained to cater to your every need by the prestigious Guild of Professional English Butlers. Trust us, you definitely won't want to leave.
The rooms They've been labelled 'sanctuaries' because they're no ordinary hotel suites. Perhaps bigger than an average London apartment, they have only three walls, meaning that the in-room glittering infinity pools (yup, you read that right) are open air and face onto the island's famous Piton mountains. With no telephones, TVs or even internet access, you're only electronic means of communication is a pager connected direct to your own personal Major Domo - and so you have no choice but to switch off from the trials of modern day living and succumb to the scent and sounds of nature. After an evening of fine dining (they call it 'Jade Cuisine'), it’s hard not to run back to your sanctuary to clamber into the four poster bed (protected by stylish mosquito nets) and wait to be rocked to sleep by the gentle winds (along with the effects of the wine from the resort’s fine international wine cellar.) In the morning, you'll be woken by the environment's natural alarm of bird song and sunrise. Have we mentioned you'll want to move in forever?
The spa Kai en Ceil is Jade Mountain's boutique spa, specialising in Ayurveda, herbs and essential oil, Swedish and deep tissue massage, aromatherapy, Shiatsu, reflexology and Thai foot massge. Sanctuary dwellers, however, can indulge in these treatments in the comfort of their own rooms. And, frankly, why on earth wouldn't you?
Out and about Jade Mountain is perched on top of its sister complex, Anse Chastenet, and guests have equal access to its two private beaches, water sport facilities, tennis coutrs, hikes, yoga, several restaurants, bars and boutiques. But if you really feel the need to leave (and we wouldn't blame you if you didn't), St Lucia is a Caribbean delight. We recommend zip-lining throughout the lush jungle forest. When we tried, it coincided with a full-on tropical storm - arguably the very best way to wash away the cobwebs on a morning.
The details Rooms start from US$950 per night, based on two sharing on a room only basis. B&B, half board and full board options available. Visit www.jademountainstlucia.com
Getting there Kuoni (tel: 01306 747008 or visit www.kuoni.co.uk) offers 7 nights with breakfast at the five-star Jade Mountain, St Lucia in a star sanctuary room including flights with British Airways from Gatwick, lounge in UK upon departure and private transfers in resort. Price for 2012 from £3,560 per person, based on two sharing (price valid for departure May 2012, includes one bonus night). To book, please quote KU9168.