Yoga at a Honeymoon Hotel in Saint Lucia
A Tropical Beach and Mountain Resort at Soufriere St. Lucia
Before Hurricane Tomas devastated the French West Indies in November 2010, including St Lucia, Haiti, and nearby islands of the Lesser Antilles, I visited Anse Chastanet/ Jade Mountain Resort. These sister resorts near the southern town of Soufriere are Caribbean honeymoon destinations to dream of.
Morning yoga on the rooftop Celestial Terrace atop this mountain brings us close to the stars and the wind. Under the arc of a rainbow, a solitary white yacht tacks across the Malgre Tout cove toward the Pitons, twin sharp volcanic peaks that brand Saint Lucia.
Standing in Mountain Pose on the purple yoga mat, we gaze across the bay and feel the stillness that draws the outer and inner mountains into one. The Coralina tiles beneath our feet recall the stunning reefs that rim the southern tip of this quiet Caribbean island in the Windward Isles, the texture and swirls of branch, polyp and brain corals, and fronds of sea fans still visible.
Jade Mountain sanctuary
As we move in slow choreography through Surya Namaskar, the opening sequences of the Salutation to the Sun, breathing in unison with the three or four students in the class, there is no hurry. The short class is easy, since most students are beginners, many here on their honeymoon in paradise, and day is already hot. Following the teacher’s lead, the class moves through a few key postures and some guided breathing, with frequent relaxation in savasana for three deep inhales to return to stillness.
The surf breaks on the beach far below while the red-ringed pigeon, called “wanmier” in the local Creaole dialect, calls up the morning on the hillside. Oblivious, one small black finch scratches for seeds in the hibiscus plant.
Later, the day will be busy with snorkeling, jungle biking, rain forest hikes, a sunset jazz boat trip, a massage or manicure in the Kai Belte Spa, a botanical walk, sailing a Sunfish, shopping in historic Soufriere with it's connections with the slave trade and the French Revolution, rum tasting with sommelier Eric Toles at Old French Colonial Plantation of Anse Mamin, or beach lounging-- but for now, all that is not.
Breathe. Relax. Languish in the peppermint-scanted chill of the eye-cloth during final relaxation. A soft wind brushes warm skin. Dissolve into stillness.
Nick Troubetzkoy's Jade Mountain Resort, whose unique décor incorporates local fabrics, basketry, sculpture and art, offers traditional Caribbean-style pampering without casino, disco, TV or phone: just fresh air, friendly conversation with guests and staff, and discreet flawless service at every hand.
Yoga classes at 7 am and 5 pm are complimentary for guests, who can spend the rest of the day in their sanctuary, most with infinity pools and no fourth wall, making each room an oasis of wood and water, plants, light, and air. If you put your honeymoon package or beach wedding in the hands of the wedding planners here, you won't be the only guest who hardly leaves your room. You'll eat amazing Caribbean-world fusion cuisine by Chef Jonathan Dearden, most of it grown locally and organically on the resort's Emerald Estates farm, and be totally happy every minute.
Saint Lucia Jazz 2011
An outstanding line-up for the twentieth anniversary of Saint Lucia's Jazz festival from May 4th to 8th is headlined by John Legend and includes 4-time Grammy nominee Ledisi, World Music great Angelique Kidjo, who hails from Benin and is now settled in New York, and Reggae artist Tarrus Riley.
Music under the stars, romantic beachside dinners, mosaic of world cultures--Saint Lucia has it.
John Legend "Each Day Gets Better"
Angelique Kidjo sings "Malaikka" (Angel) in Swahili
Jade Mountain/l'Anse Chastanet Resorts are about 5 km west of Soufriere
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