Fodor's Expert Review Boucan by Hotel Chocolat

Rabot Estate, West Coast Rd., 2 miles (3 km) south of Soufrière, Soufrière, Soufrière, St. Lucia See on Map Fodor's Choice

Jane Zarem

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.

room

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.

bathroom

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).

lobby

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.

pool

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.

spa

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!

gym

There is no gym, but guests can exercise by hiking the marked trails on the 140-acre plantation.

dining

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.

drinking

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.

LOCATION

Getting Around

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.

Restaurants

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.)

Bars

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.

QUICK FACTS

Green, Romantic, Service, Views
14 rooms
Breakfast yes
Lunch yes
Dinner yes
Bar yes
Cafe no
Room Service yes
$$$$
Gym, Pool
yes
Free Parking
No

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 758-724-6183, 800-757-7132 in U.S.

What’s Nearby

People also liked

Cap Maison

$$ | Smuggler's Cove Dr.

This elegant villa resort is perfect for a honeymoon, a family getaway... Read More

Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort

$$ | Trouya Point Rd.

This huge hillside resort has something guaranteed to appeal to everyo... Read More

Serenity at Coconut Bay

$$ | Micoud Hwy.

Intimate yet social, upscale yet casual, luxurious yet comfortable...S... Read More

Mango Beach Inn, a ramshackle old building with a lot of history and amazing views

Mango Beach Inn

$ | Soufriere and the West Coast | North side of the bay

Lovely hosts operate this small inn—just three suites in an old stone... Read More

Marigot Beach Club & Dive Resort

$ | Soufriere and the West Coast | North side of the bay

Divers love this place, and everyone loves the location facing the lit... Read More

The Villa On The Bay

Inn on the Bay

$ | Soufriere and the West Coast | South side of the bay

Warm hospitality best describes the character of this small inn overlo... Read More