Experiential travel is becoming more and more popular these days. And we’re all about it normally, from El Camino’s photographer-included adventures to the rush of exotic yoga retreats that have hit the wellness world. But, on the flip, sometimes a girl just needs to get away and since “group activities” are usually deeply woven into the framework of experiential travel, we recently decided to go a different route for a holiday getaway.

Last December took us to this luxe, but farmy St. Lucian dream destination pictured above. Named Jade Mountain for both the famous pitons that can be seen from almost everywhere on the island and for owners, Nick and Karolin Troubetzkoy’s world class collection of jadestone pieces, this award-winning resort is on many a bucket list and, if you’re an island life kind of vactioner, should be added to yours as well.

With private rooms that include indoor-outdoor design, sweeping views and the largest in-room pools we’ve ever seen, this place is privacy guaranteed. We may have never left our room on our recent visit, but for one of the best beaches on the island belonging to the resort just down the mountain and a jungle-like organic farm just over the hill. More on that below.

Although the resort sits on acres of tropical rainforest and is surrounded by warm blue oceanwater, the most visually impressive element of the property is it’s own architecture. Sitting high on a hill above the beach, the resort’s room are stacked in an open air tower with private plankways on one side and sweeping, open-facing views on the other. The whole place looks like it dropped from the wild imagination of some science fiction writer and is a big part of why Jade Mountain lands on so many world class travel lists (it’s been the number one reader’s choice in Conde Nast Traveler for four years running!)

What makes Jade Mountain the ultimate tropical Chalkboard experience is it’s newly awarded status as the first LEED Gold certified hotel in the entire Carribean. This hard to come by green building award means that Jade meets the highest standards of sustainability. And what thrills us most is just how beautifully Jade Mountain executes their mission.

One of the most beautiful qualities of the property’s green design is their water management system. The rain-fed water purification system that feeds all the resort’s pools is, instead of a utilitarian eyesore, the most gorgeous tower of pools we’ve ever seen (shown above). Each in-suite pool is fed by a system of small streams – the sound of which only increases the tropical charm of each room.

Another impressive sustainable quality of the resort is it’s on-property organic farm. We had the pleasure of touring an acre or two and felt like we’d broken into our version of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. The farm grows all it’s own cacao, vanilla, turmeric, passionfruit, cinnamon and other exotic fruits, veggies and spices. All of it is pulled into the resort’s many restaurant kitchens, run by James Beard-awarded Chef Allen Susser. Chef Susser took us through chocolate classes and farm tours during our visit and put cacao to the test with several incredible multi-coursed dinners while we were there including unexpected pairings like chocolate ganache with garlic and cacao butter with local seafood like urchin.

All said, we were floored by our visit to this architectural wonder nestled on one of the most beautiful islands we’ve visited yet. We love bringing you stories of sustainable travel, especially when they involve farm experiences like Jade Mountain does. Check out our visit to tropical farms on Maui and stay tuned for more travel snapshots as our team looks for more ways to “live well” across the globe!

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