Anyone who loves chocolate will love this themed boutique, adults-only (18+) hotel just south of Soufrière and within shouting distance of the Pitons. Two successful British chocolatiers decided to come to the source; they built this upscale, eco-friendly hotel on a historic (1745), 140-acre cocoa estate, which continues today as a working plantation. The name of the hotel is also the Creole name for the shed (boucan) that houses the rolling trays used locally to dry cacao beans in the sunshine.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Not a wise choice for anyone allergic to or less than thrilled by chocolate.
Accommodations consist of a half-dozen one-bedroom lodges that surround a garden courtyard and eight one-bedroom "luxe" lodges that are nearly twice as large and are elevated to provide unobstructed Pitons views from a private verandah. The minimalist décor throughout the property is, of course, predominantly a rich chocolate brown and white. Each room has a king-size four-poster bed with mosquito netting, as well as a concierge cabinet with a welcome bottle of chilled prosecco, fresh coffee and tea, and estate-made chocolate treats that are refreshed daily.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Cottages are built to maximize airflow, so there's no air-conditioning. There are also no room TVs—but there is a pre-loaded iPod.
Spa-style bathrooms each have a handcrafted wooden vanity with two vessel sinks and REN toiletries, as well as a walk-in shower with pebble tiling, skylight, and rain showerhead (“luxe” lodges have twin rain showerheads).
There's a small reception office, but the lounge adjacent to the bar and within the restaurant has comfortable seating and serves as a gathering place for guests.
Complimentary Wi-Fi is available only in the restaurant and lounge (lobby) area of the hotel.
Guests have a stunning view of the Pitons when reclining on a sun lounger at the 50-foot-long infinity pool lined with striking black quartz (meant to resemble a chocolate bar). That pool is located on a deck beneath and in front of the restaurant and reserved for guests as Club Boucan. A pool attendant is available to serve drinks, snacks, and lunch—as desired. A second pool is in a more private area called the Hummingbird Sanctuary.
All of the treatments at the hotel’s Cocoa Juvenate Spa incorporate cacao beans: cacao massages, cacao body wrap, a cacao facial, and cacao exfoliation. From head to toe, you’ll feel (and smell) delicious!
There is no gym, but guests can exercise by hiking the marked trails on the 140-acre plantation.
Boucan restaurant serves "cacao cuisine" for breakfast (included), lunch, and dinner in its open-air restaurant with a majestic Piton view. Every dish that emanates from the open kitchen, whether sweet or savory, is either infused or spiced with cocoa in one form or another—white, dark, frozen, hot, pulp, nibs, butter, dips, dressings, desserts…
Make your own dessert! The Bean to Bag experience allows you to select cacao pods and make chocolate bars and truffles from beans that you roast yourself.
A small bar within the restaurant has a lounge with sofas where guests mingle before or after dinner—perhaps with a chocolate-infused martini.
Try a cacao Bellini at sunset.
A rental car is a good idea if you want to explore on your own, as driving is not difficult between Hewanorra International Airport and the hotel or from the hotel to sites in and around Soufrière. Taxis are always available, as well. The hotel has two boats available for sunset cruises and day trips to west coast beaches.
Just across the road, Dasheene at Ladera (2-minute walk) offers open-air dining on the terrace for lunch or dinner—get there in time to watch the sun go down between the Pitons. A little farther south, Bamboo & Cocoa Pod at Fond Doux Estate (5-minute drive) is another historic plantation that offers a purely local experience; come for a tour and a Creole buffet lunch or à la carte dinner. In Soufrière, on the north side of the harbor, Orlando’s (10-minute drive) specializes in exquisite Caribbean cuisine using local, sustainable products; it’s fine dining in a casual atmosphere.
Each Friday evening in Anse la Raye, a small fishing village a few miles south of Marigot Bay, the main street is blocked off for a street festival, called Anse la Raye Seafood Friday (25-minute voyage). Residents set up barbecue grills and picnic tables and serve up grilled fish, lobster, roasted corn, boiled crayfish, and more. There’s usually live music, too. (Take a water taxi to/from Soufriere Harbour; the winding mountain road heading the north is dizzying during the day and worse at night.)
For a change of scene, walk across the road to the bar at Ladera (2-minute walk); there’s live local music every evening. It’s recommended that guests not visit local bars in Soufrière.
WHY WE LIKE IT
It’s cool, chic, classy, contemporary…and chocolaty.