I’ll tell you the short version,” Karolin Troubetzkoy, executive director of Jade Mountain in St Lucia, chuckles as she tops up my wine. It’s how most of the hotelier’s stories begin, and even the ‘short’ ones would fill a hardback. From the marijuana pouch she crocheted for a guest, to Princess Margaret advising her that “one must never run out of Earl Grey”, Troubetzkoy is as entertaining as she is well-connected.
Having grown up in her aunt’s hotel near Munich, Troubetzkoy first visited St Lucia in 1980 – “my mother said I was mad, so, naturally, nothing could stop me”. Four decades later, she’s as much a part of the island’s story as the two hotels she runs with her husband, architect Nick Troubetzkoy.
The couple opened neighbouring properties Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain, on the same plot of land, in 2000 and 2006 respectively. Thanks to the Troubetzkoys’ visionary approach, both properties feel futuristic even now. “I don’t like the word sustainability,” says Karolin. “It’s overused. Everything we do is about leaving something better behind.”
Sure, the 600-acre resort falls firmly under the ‘luxury’ umbrella – there’s a Prince Harry-approved heliport, in-room massage therapists (ask for Phillippa), champagne-fuelled sunset cruises and your own ‘major-domo’ butler – but the real luxury here is the location. A short, bumpy drive from the port town of Soufriére on St Lucia’s west coast, the resort encompasses two beaches, two hotels – Anse Chastanet has 49 rooms; Jade Mountain has 79 – and the Emerald Farm estate, where the Troubetzkoys live.
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