by Natasha Wolff | March 19, 2015 1:11 pm
Upon arriving at Anse Chastanet Resort, in Soufriere, Saint Lucia, we were struck by the warm and welcoming staff—and the panoramic views of the Caribbean off the lobby.
The AAA Four Diamond luxury destination is just an hour’s drive from Hewanorra Airport in Vieux Fort (UVF) on the tropical island’s southern tip, and JetBlue offers easy, nonstop flights from New York City’s JFK airport (a five-hour flight) and Boston’s Logan International.
Husband-and-wife owners Nick and Karolin Troubetzkoy have run Anse Chastanet since discovering the island in 1974. Then, the property only had 12 rooms, now there are 49 rooms and suites. The lush, 600-acre resort has been expanded over the years and now boasts a world-class bespoke scuba operation, Scuba St. Lucia, with pristine reefs and activities like snorkeling, sea kayaking, jungle biking (the property has eight miles of trails) and bird watching. Nick, an architect by trade, also built and designed the adjacent sister property, the dramatic Jade Mountain in 2006.
We had the pleasure of staying at the newly-renovated Piton Pool Suite (AKA “Casuarina”) with a private, 160-square-foot pool surrounded by a deck built into the hillside. Finished in late 2014, the expertly finished (yet devoid of technology—happily) room features coralina stone tiles and handcrafted furniture made from sustainably-culled tropical hardwoods. The suite is both open and private, nestled in lush foliage facing both the Piton Mountains and the Caribbean. The spacious bedroom with walk-in closet leads to an open-walled patio-living room area and the marble bathroom features a massive couples’ shower. The bright, plaid linens add a bit of whimsy to the bed, which is enrobed with flowing mosquito net. “A major attraction of the resort is the fact no two rooms are alike and every one has a distinction of its own,” Karolin Troubetzkoy says.
We were on the all-inclusive meals and drinks plan ($340 per couple per day), an easy decision due to the secluded nature of the property (and the fact that we were too relaxed to move). We were happily ensconced at the property’s two beaches under a thatched roof hut on beach chairs for the whole day reading. There are three restaurants and two bars, which include the Treehouse Restaurant (fine Caribbean cuisine), Emerald’s (for vegetarian food) and Apsara (Indian/Caribbean fusion with to-die-for naan and curries) for dinner and the all-day Jungle Grill at Anse Mamin beach for lunch and drinks (think local mahi-mahi ceviche, jerk chicken and burgers and deliciously decadent banana piña colada).
When we did leave our beach chair, which wasn’t often, it was to partake in two can’t-miss distractions. The first wasn’t much of an activity but a relaxing Deep Tissue couples massage at the Kai Belté spa off the beach (60 minutes for $220). The second was a romantic sunset cruise on the property’s 42-foot sailing yacht (“Searenity Now”) on our last day. The charming Kerwin, our captain, took us up and down the Caribbean coast for two hours pointing out marinas, fishing villages and other places of interest while we snacked on hors d’oeuvres and refreshing Piton beers (the local ale).
All in all, it’s a tranquil sanctuary—a perfect place for couples to unplug, disconnect and truly relax (no children under the age of 10 are allowed, and that helps). The staff is accommodating and the service is efficient. The adorable assistant manager Peter Jean-Paul gave us an informed, thorough tour of the property and offers such an introduction to all guests—his infectious smile and jokes will win you over instantly.
Below, Karolin Troubetzkoy tells us about the most sought-after room on the property.
The most requested room:
Premium Room 7F (“Royal Palm”).
What makes it so special:
There is a carefree elegance about the open wall in this 1,350-square-foot room, which is adorned with the bold colors of hand-painted renderings of free-spirited women by the edgy German artist Elvira Bach. It has one bedroom with a shower large enough to fit two persons, and is perfect for a romantic rendezvous. Also, the total extravagance of breathtaking views of the magical Pitons rising from the Caribbean, makes this one of the most alluring and renowned rooms at the resort.
$785-$1,050 per night depending on the time of year.
Your personal favorite:
Hillside deluxe Room 14B (“Ginger”).
A key feature is the tree growing in the room into the shower, which bursts through the roof. The room is stunning and provides the ultimate eco-luxury tree house experience.
We are very respectful of our guests’ privacy. However, we can say that many bold-face names have visited the property.
Anse Chastanet sits in an 18th Century colonial plantation and makes its own chocolate (chocolate sensory tasting classes are offered).
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