In today’s world of hyper-connected smartphones, increasing workweek hours and the nonstop media frenzy surrounding a historically unpopular election, Saint Lucia’s Jade Mountain Resort offers a blissful antidote: The chance to escape and find serenity as clients reconnect with their own inner rhythms.
There’s a case to be made that stress-free vacations are not just luxuries, but necessities. Earlier this year, the American Psychological Association reported that Americans’ stress levels were increasing, with 24% of adults in 2015 claiming to have experienced “extreme stress”, a 6% jump from the previous year. And experts have long known that anxiety and physical health are linked; those who reported that their health was “fair” or “poor” had higher stress levels than those who answered “very good” or “excellent.”
The staff at Jade Mountain is committed to encouraging not just the happiness, but the mental wellness of all guests. The resort’s infinity pool suites invite visitors to inhabit an inner sanctum, a blissful, self-contained world that they never need to leave—unless they choose to. It is this privacy, and freedom from unwanted interruptions, that allows one to truly disconnect and recharge. Multi-course meals, wine tastings and even elaborate spa treatments may be arranged within the room. Each suite is assigned a major domo, or butler, who’s on call 24 hours a day and can be reached by a special device given to guests at the start of their stay. When they do choose to spend time in public areas, visitors are happy to learn that the use of mobile phones is prohibited. This allows quiet conversation and the sounds of nature—whistling tree frogs, chirping crickets and rustling leaves—to prevail.
Don’t call them rooms: Jade Mountain’s distinctive sanctuaries
The first clue to Jade Mountain’s commitment to wellness is that the mountainside guest accommodations are known as “sanctuaries”. When owner and architect Nick Troubetzkoy conceived the property, he was not thinking of building a resort, but rather a retreat into complete wellbeing. For starters, he’s done away with typical hotel corridors. “The journey to your sanctuary happens by way of a long, suspended bridge that’s yours alone. Your entry door is a massive, rough-hewn slab of exotic tropical hardwood. That first step inside creates an instant spiritual uplift,” he says, and practically speaking, the design also eliminates distracting foot traffic from staff or other guests outside your suite.
Inside, each sanctuary has been outfitted with carefully handcrafted furnishings sourced from local materials,such as sustainable hardwood, plants, stone and crushed coral.
Then there’s that view. Each space has one wall open to the elements, designed like a stage that perfectly frames Saint Lucia’s twin Piton peaks and the Caribbean Sea below. But the final crowning jewel, and probably the best vantage point for enjoying the view, is the infinity pool. Nearly every sanctuary has a generously sized one elevated and incorporated into the decor, encouraging guests to “intimately interact with it”, fully experiencing the healing, transformative properties of water, which have been recognised for centuries. The infinity pools and whirlpool tubs in the bathrooms also have coloured underwater LED lighting that guests can control and customise, as many believe that light and colour can directly affect mood and wellbeing (red tones, for example, are thought to energise, while blues can help create a sense of calmness).
In-Sanctuary treatments: Bringing the spa to the guest
At Jade Mountain, the guest sanctuaries can provide an exquisite setting for in-room treatments that redefine the spa experience. Menu highlights include Forget the Outside World, a 105-minute anti-stress treatment combining a 35-minute back and leg massage, simultaneous facial masque and foot reflexology treatment; Anpagnal massage, a four-handed treatment performed by two therapists simultaneously; and the Alchemy of Two, a couples’ treatment with a hot tub soak, poetry reading, chocolate treats and a massage with tantra vibrational oil to help perk up the senses.
And it is this process of truly, deeply letting go that allows for total relaxation and mental clarity to be realized.