What were Caribbean hotels like before trade winds were replaced by blasts of air conditioning, when morning exercise was a walk on the beach and when you sat watching the sunset instead of cable TV? You can still find that Classic Caribbean at Anse Chastanet on St. Lucia’s quiet southwestern coast where two magical peaks, the Pitons, leap from the sea and the mountains are covered with luminous greenery.
Architect owner Nick Troubetzkoy believes passionately in nature. So he created a hotel that makes the foliage and the flowers, the perfumes and the peaks, the sea and the bird song an integral part of your vacation experience. The estate encompasses 600 lush tropical acres bordering two soft sand beaches. Not only do you get a World Heritage Site anchored by the twin peaks on land, the resort’s two crystal-clear bays are part of a designated marine reserve protecting miles of colorful coral reefs teeming with tropical fish.
With such a unique setting as his canvas, Nick Troubetzkoy was inspired to design a one -of-a-kind resort. He was committed to an environmentally conscious development before “green” became fashionable.
A dozen rooms are tucked in behind the coconut palms that line the beach and the remainder tiptoe up a flower decked hillside. To make the most of the panoramic views and the refreshing tradewinds octagonal whitewashed cottages come with wraparound flower draped balconies and louvered windows.
Extra-large deluxe and premium suites underscore the visionary, innovative, sometimes whimsical side of Nick Troubetzkoy: in one suite, the balcony is built around a full-grown red gommier tree; in another a flamboyant tree drapes its red blossoms around the balcony. Some have their 4th wall open entirely to the vistas, yet are completely private.
Anse Chastanet’s ever growing art collection provides a visual feast of its own. There are impressive wooden sculptures and plaques, earthy burlap compositions, painted “sky ceilings” and vibrant acrylic paintings invoking memories of Matisse and Picasso.
And while the sensuous seclusion of the rooms provides some guests with the perfect excuse for lolling away the day on the balcony, others head out to partake in the many activities on offer; yoga, snorkeling, scuba diving, tennis, sunset sailing, sea kayaking or jungle biking, hiking and bird-watching among the ruins of an 18th century colonial plantation.
The less actively inclined simply do nothing, lie on the beach or get pampered in the resort’s spa, Kai Belté. There is a casual beachside bar and restaurant; on the hillside, a panoramic hillside lounge and two treehouses provide the romantic setting for candlelit dinners, with musical backdrops by local entertainers. Tranquility, Romance and Adventure at Anse Chastanet.
Scuba St. Lucia
At the south end of the beach is Anse Chastanet’s renowned National Geographic/PADI Five Star Dive Resort. Situated in the heart of St. Lucia’s Marine Reserves (SMMA) and founded in 1981, Scuba St. Lucia has established itself as one of the world’s top diving destinations.
Perfectly set up for both beach and boat dives, Scuba St. Lucia offers guests gear storage; a well equipped scuba store; three compressors; rental dive gear and an underwater Photo and Video center.
The Anse Chastanet reef starts just 10 yards beyond the water’s edge. The reef’s remarkable ecosystem offers an amazing profusion of unusual tropical marine life, in 20 to 140 feet of calm, clear water. Anse Chastanet Reef makes for an amazing dive day or night. In the shallow areas be sure to keep your eyes open for peacock flounders, octopus, needle fish and turtles. Or drop down a little deeper over dense coral growth to see puffers, moray eels, parrot fish, lobsters and even sea horses. A unique dive site for all abilities and especially good for critter photography.
Bike St. Lucia
In addition to ANSE CHASTANET’S spectacular resort location and world class diving with SCUBA ST.LUCIA, another exciting adventure facility awaits the active traveler: BIKE ST.LUCIA and their exciting JUNGLE BIKING ADVENTURE.
BIKE ST. LUCIA’s home is the Anse Mamin Plantation which is part of the 600 acre estate belonging to ANSE CHASTANET RESORT. Amidst an abundance of tropical vegetation and historical remains dating back to the plantation’s 18th century beginnings, 12 miles of bike trails were carefully implemented to create a unique adventure location while at the same time preserving the plantation’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.
BIKE ST. LUCIA’S custom trails were designed to accommodate both the first time and the experienced rider on Cannondale suspension bikes. There is a skill course training area adjacent to the 5,000 square foot BIKE ST. LUCIA facility where riders can learn or brush up their off-road riding skills. In less than an hour, you will notice your skill and comfort levels increase dramatically, not to mention the enjoyment level on the trails.
For those wanting a more challenging ride, there are intermediate level single-track trails. They are designed with the idea of a roller coaster ride in mind with lots of turns, ups and downs while cruising (or perhaps, on occasion, careening) among dense, lush vegetation on the specially made tracks.
For those who practically live on a bike and have great lungs and legs, BIKE ST. LUCIA created TINKER’S TRAIL. This challenging ride was designed with the help of world champion Tinker Juarez, of the Volvo-Cannondale racing team. You will find that its steep uphills and tight switchbacks make it truly an advanced expert-level trail. At the top, you can proclaim your reward by ringing Tinker’s Bell. And, of course, take in one of the most spectacular views imaginable. Don’t forget your camera! Tinker describes the Tinker Trail downhill ride as a “really sweet ride.” For most, it will be a heart thumping adrenalin rush all the way down. About midway, there are two back to back long steep downhill portions with a slightly banked turn leading the rider from one to the other on a wild ride. Just don’t miss the turn! So, whatever your riding experience, BIKE ST. LUCIA’s JUNGLE BIKING ADVENTURE has trails to match your ability. Come and bike with us!!
For more information, contact ANSE CHASTANET at 888-GO LUCIA (465-8242) or go to http://www.ansechastanet.com; http://www.scubastlucia.com; or http://www.bikestlucia.com. TEL: (758) 459-7000; FAX: (758) 459-7700; P.O. Box 7000, Soufriere, St. Lucia.
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