Insider’s Look: Anse Chastanet

Photo courtesy of Anse Chastanet

Photo Courtesy of Anse Chastanet

There’s a special place in our hearts for St. Lucia. It’s one of the most relaxed and friendly Caribbean islands we’ve visited. And it’s home to Anse Chastanet, one of the most spectacular resorts anywhere, ever! Honestly, this is a place that takes your breath away, from the moment you arrive and are escorted through its lush, green grounds to your luxurious, hideaway guestroom.

We’re not the only ones who feel this way. The readers of Condé Nast Traveler voted Anse Chastanet their second-favorite resort in the Caribbean for 2012, in a near tie with Nisbet Plantation on Nevis (another one of our favorites).

What makes Anse Chastanet outstanding?

Let’s start with the guestrooms because they are extraordinary. Nick Troubetzkoy, the resort’s owner, was also its architect, and you can genuinely feel the thought and care—and love—he put into the design of every room: just 49 of them sprinkled on the hillside and beside the beach, and each is unique. We love the beach rooms because, well, they’re on the beach. But the hillside rooms are the ones that will really make you say, “Ah!” From their exquisite views of St. Lucia’s famed pointy-topped twin Piton mountains to the colorful paintings by local artists that adorn the walls, everything that meets your eye is sheer perfection. And then there’s the “open fourth wall” in several of Anse Chastanet’s Premium Hillside rooms. This architectural innovation, which actually does leave one wall of the room completely unenclosed, creates a sense of freedom unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Romantic couples take note: Esquire magazine put Anse Chastanet on its list of the “10 Sexiest Hotel Rooms in the World,” and we agree without hesitation. (If you’re not quite ready for that level of openness, there are other Premium Hillside rooms with louvered walls that let in the breeze but offer some privacy.)

If all of this sounds a bit over-the-top, it is…and yet it isn’t. Anse Chastanet is knock-your-socks-off gorgeous, but it’s never overwhelming. A lot of that has to do with the level of service the resort provides. The people of St. Lucia are just so friendly and welcoming, as if they so want you to love their island as much as they do. (And you will, we promise!) They manage to attend to every little detail so seamlessly and simply, and that sense of smooth sailing becomes infectious. Stress? Not here!

Your sense of relaxation is also helped by the fact that there are no TVs or phones in the guest rooms, no motorized equipment at the beach. You can sail or kayak or snorkel, go bird watching or biking, or take an excursion to the rain forest, the volcano and Sulphur Springs, or the marketplace in town. But our favorite “activity” among the resort’s offerings is the one called “Do Nothing.” Think about it: When’s the last time you experienced true quiet or gazed up at a velvety expanse of pure black sky at night? Have you ever taken an hour or two to nap in a hammock? Trust us; we know from experience that these are skills you need to develop! (If you need a little extra encouragement, book a massage or treatment at the resort’s spa—we highly recommend the open-air cabana.)

Finally, there’s the cuisine. Just as this splendid resort is constructed from local materials and furnished with local goods, the menus at the resort’s restaurants are “constructed” from the freshest local ingredients and Caribbean island flavors. We absolutely love the fact that there’s a full vegetarian menu at Emeralds as well as veggie choices at all the other dining venues at the resort. And the fact that Anse Chastanet grows some of its produce on the property and relies on local farmers to provide most of the rest is another example of the resort’s vision and attention to detail.

What Do You Think?

Have you vacationed at Anse Chastanet? Comment below. And, if you’d like assistance planning a spectacular getaway at Anse Chastanet in St. Lucia, contact Ultimate Jet Vacations at 1-800-231-4095.

—Emma Sandoval for Ultimate Jet Vacations