Where to stay in St Lucia

Two sublime getaways in the eastern Caribbean.

Jade Mountain

What's so special

With private infinity pools, personal butlers and beautiful white sandy beaches, Jade Mountain, which overlooks the Pitons (two volcanic plugs that form part of a World Heritage site), has everything you'd expect from the Caribbean.

How they rate it

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The hotel is a "glorious feat of architecture", and stands near Soufrire, on the west coast, says Stylist Magazine. Clever design and landscaping leave the front of the open-plan suites open to the elements, while maintaining complete privacy. You'll get your own private pool, lounge area, and sun terrace.

"Guests are assigned a butler on arrival and each suite comes with a mobile phone on which to phone them." But you shouldn't need much assistance: everything is "helpfully laid out for you" and the fridge "is stocked with a bento box, petit fours and drinks".

The menu

The two-storey restaurant's speciality is fresh seafood, including scallops and lobsters.

The cost

A double room costs from $1,025 per night, on a room-only basis. For more information, visit the hotel's website at www.jademountain.com, or call the US booking office free on 0800-141 2859.


East Winds Inn

What's so special

A gorgeous location, all-inclusive packages and high level of luxury combine to make this a relaxing, magnificent getaway from the British weather.

How they rate it

"Spread over 12 acres of tropical gardens, the well-run East Winds Inn is an unflashy and utterly tranquil haven," says Fred Mawer in The Daily Telegraph. "Don't let the fact that it's all-inclusive put you off the hotel is much classier than that might imply." The rooms are located in cottages scattered around the gardens.

With "the open-air lounge and swimming pool surrounded by thick foliage, the whole hotel feels seamlessly interconnected with its lovely surroundings". The whole place has a "civilised, low-tech air" you can relax with the books and board games that lie scattered around, or get involved in the (non-motorised) watersports.

The menu

The food is "infinitely better than you'd imagine from an all-inclusive hotel". Champagne is included and carefully selected wines accompany the four-course dinners.

The cost

Double rooms cost from $551 per night. Find out more at www.eastwinds.com or call Essential Detail on 020-8977 6099.


The world's best swimming pools

The tiered infinity pools at Ubud Hanging Gardens (Ubudhanginggardens.com) in Bali, "set on top of a cliff and surrounded by rainforest", are certainly among the world's best, says Cond Nast Traveller magazine. All the hotel's rooms have their own infinity-edge pools with verdant views.

Closer to home there is the infinity pool at the Grace Santorini (Santorinigrace.com), which has views over the Greek island's famed caldera a volcanic-like feature in the landscape.

For something a bit different, why not try the "pool-within-a-pool-within-the-sea" at The Spa by Espa (pictured)at the One&Only Reethi Rah (Oneandonlyresorts.com) in the Maldives.

The pools at the Oberoi Udaivilas (Oberoihotels.com) are beautiful but also pretty exclusive. The pool with views over Lake Pichola in Udaipur city in the Indian state of Rajasthan is only accessible via the hotel's suites.

On "Italy's ridiculously beautiful Amalfi Coast" lies the Hotel Caruso (www.hotelcaruso.com). You get fabulous views of the coast from its pool.

Or finally, to avoid the crowds, try the Rocca delle Tre Contrade villa (Trecontrade.com) in Sicily in the foothills of Mount Etna. You're unlikely to bump into many people in its secluded pool.