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Dive Review of Scuba St. Lucia/Anse Chastenet / Jade Mountain in
St. Lucia

December, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Paul Selden, MI, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (11 reports)
Report Number 4927
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Andros, Bonaire, Belize, CA Channel Islands, Cancun, Cozumel, Florida Keys,
Galapagos, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Roatan, St. Vincent, Utila, Yucatan
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
Water Temp
75   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Mandatory check out dive.  Wanted us to report 700psi as approx. when to
begin safety stop; no lower than 60 feet unless have dive computer.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Setup was decent, ample fresh water tanks for cameras on board and land;
tech mgr. Bernd Rac is a photo expert, but most divemasters were more
oriented to being the leader or caboose in a choo-choo train style of
diving vs. being photo guides.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars    
4 stars   
3 stars    
St. Lucia is a beautiful island, and if you want a fantastic room the size
of three or four ordinary motel rooms overlooking the most romantic scenery
on the island (the two jutting Piton mountains), this is the place to stay.
 The only catch is, if you want to stick to a budget typical of most
Caribbean islands, you absolutely must go during an off season or go with a
group that has negotiated an affordable rate.  If you go during a very
quiet season and are very lucky, you may receive a complimentary upgrade to
Jade Mountain; if so, accept it for the last part of your stay or you may
be spoiled.  If you must go during the high season, be prepared to spend an
all-inclusive rate for one week that is roughly the cost of diving a week
in the Galapagos or for two weeks in the Pacific Islands.  Don't carry the
expectation that if you pay huge bucks you will net the equivalent in dive
excitement, however.  You're mainly paying for a fantastic room with a view
and some wonderful dining.  The diving and terrain are very different from
flat Caribbean islands which sit on and are surrounded by shallow reefs,
such as the Caymans.  St. Lucia is a volcanic island with mountainous
jungle terrain; its rocky shores and cliffs quickly plunge into the deeps
and dont offer the best shelter for reef fish.  Nevertheless, Anse
Chastenet sits in the middle of some of the best diving on the island.  In
my opinion, from a divers point of view, Anse Chastenet and its sister
resort, Jade Mountain, are perfect for couples who want a once in a
lifetime, super-romantic getaway in an unforgettable topside location, with
some relaxed no-hassle diving on the side.  By the way, if you are paying
full-fare for Jade Mountain, make sure you get the type of room you want,
since on a tour of the property we found that not all have in-room infinity
pools (some only have hot tubs) or the fourth wall missing open to the
outdoors.  The rooms with the best views in Anse Chastenet are in Unit 7
(and are also the most expensive), but every room in the resort has its own
unique charm with views of the Pitons, water, and/or lush tropical mountain
forest.  The picture on the home page of their website looks down at the
resort from a helicopter; it is not what you see from the rooms.  We read
on some travel-review websites that there is too much stair-climbing at
this resort.  Whether there is too much stair climbing depends on your
physical condition.  Its true that the resort is built on the side of a
mountain and the rooms are spread out from near the top of the hill to the
bottom near the beach.  You cant have it both ways-units cant both be on
the beach and perched on up on the scenic little mountain without a bit of
a hike.  We didnt find it a problem.  I descended the stairs in the
morning and came back up after my last dive in the afternoon.  My wife and
I ate most lunches at their beach-level restaurant.  It only took me about
10 minutes to climb back up to my room from the beach in the AM, up more
than 125 steps in the PM.  We looked at it as a way to work off all the
delicious meals.  Free shuttles are available for those wanting a ride. 
The food was mostly great tasting, with only a few bland exceptions. 
Breakfast was buffet style and our lunches were served quickly, but, be
ready to linger over a dinner for 2-3 hours.  Weve found the food in this
part of the Caribbean pretty expensive; St. Lucia was no exception.  We
brought our own duty-free booze.  If you get a meal plan, make sure you
know what is counted as an extra, such as sparkling water.  If you go in
December-January, when my wife and I did, consider a wetsuit for water
temps that hover in the low 80s.  What will you see on a dive?  I saw
typical reef fish, but they swam singly or in very small schools not even
close to the plentiful numbers youd see in waters such as a Key Largo or
Bonaire.  What stuck me were the huge numbers of little guys, such as
urchins, feather stars, fireworms, spaghetti worms, and yellowline arrow
crabs.  The dives were almost all drift dives in a mild current, so little
effort was required.  If you want to see something special, make sure you
ask your divemaster before each dive, otherwise youll just be diving in
follow the leader fashion, and, since you get a new divemaster with almost
every dive, youll have to repeat your special requests."  The shop
has plenty of rental gear if needed.  Dive facilities were average, not
exceptional, so not on the same level as rest of the resort.  There were
three dives daily and night diving twice a week.  Divemasters didnt
diagram dive sites.  The resort uses a check-in/check-out system for each
dive, which was very safety conscious and unlike most others.  Theres lots
of topside tours and activity available; while I was diving my wife toured
the nearby lush plantation grounds.  We took a great all-day sea/land tour
of the island, plus a shorter tour of some of the local hot springs and
waterfalls.  AC/JD has the feeling of a larger hotel complex (not terribly
intimate), but management and staff were quite friendly and accommodating.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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