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“Nirvana is located 25 minutes south of Soufriere” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Balenbouche Estate

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Balenbouche Estate
P.O. Box VF 707 | Saint Lucia, Laborie, St. Lucia   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Rate
Special Summer Rate
Ranked #1 of 2 Laborie B&B and Inns
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Nirvana is located 25 minutes south of Soufriere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

We stayed with the Lawaetz family at Balenbouche Estate for a week in mid July 2013.

We had the most wonderful time here, every day waking to the jungle chorus at first light, before walking down through an adjoining field of palms to a small bay for a sea swim at sunrise.

Uta, Verena and Anatanija made us feel like members of the extended family during our stay, spending time with us over breakfast making sure we were making the most of our time in St Lucia.

While our vegan dietary requirements are often alien to hoteliers around the world, at Balenbouche it was treated as a special challenge, with freshly prepared coconut milk with our coffee for breakfast, fresh fruit and vegetables including more types of mango than I knew existed! Evening meals at the Estate are genuinely wonderful, dining outdoors on the first floor veranda overlooking the beautiful estate gardens during sunset.

Our accommodation had been 'upgraded' to the best available free cottage during our stay, so we benefited from a self catering kitchen, choice of (naturally ventilated) bedrooms and an intriguingly crafted outdoor stone floored shower disguised within a tree trunk.

We soon became accustomed to the natural pace of life at Balenbouche, as there is no unneccessary and unnatural outdoor lighting, and very little noise other than the chirp of crickets and ciccada beetles at night.

Our stay on St Lucia was greatly enhanced by the local knowledge provided by the family, interesting spots and highlights on the island can be difficult to find, as signposting is "subtle" at best! Even the visit of tropical storm Chantal during our stay was an opportunity to hear stories of previous years storms, together with how homeowners prepare for the weather and a morning spend browsing the extensive library of art, history and architecture books within the main estate family house.

We left looking forward to the day when we can return, and definitely recommending Balenbouche to all friends and family!

Room Tip: Banyan cottage is large and well appointed. Be prepared for when you hear the first mango hit the ro...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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56 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
New York
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

We chose Balenbouche because of all the great reviews and because it looked down to earth and different - as far from an all-inclusive beach resort as you can get - and that's exactly what it was. We stayed in the Almond Cottage for three nights and were very happy with our choice. Verena and Uta were lovely hostesses and the many dogs and cats made us feel right at home. One cat, Cali, pretty much stayed in our cottage the whole time, enjoying the attention, and one of the dogs took up camp on our front stoop, sat with us at breakfast, and even escorted us to the beach. We could see and hear cows from our window. Breakfasts on the porch of the "big house" was fresh mango, mango juice, coffee, warm rolls with cheese and jam, and scrambled eggs. Our cottage was comfortable and we just left the doors and windows of the bedroom open all night. The rest of the house is open anyway so you do have to not mind bugs and a few small lizards. The outdoor shower, which has a curtain that blows open to the great outdoors, has a few tiny resident frogs. Wasn't a problem. Do bring your ear plugs though. The frog and insect noises at night are close to deafening, especially if you aren't used to it. We mainly used Balenbouche as a base for exploring, and drove up to Ladera for lunch, to see the volcano, and walk the Tet Paul Trail. We did spend a couple hours on the beach about a 10 min. walk from our cottage, wading in the water and getting some sun, but the current makes it not good for swimming. If the idea of living in an open air cottage and having the outdoors come in sounds good to you, you can't do any better. We enjoy camping and this was a big step up from that, but it's not everyone's cup of tea. For us, it was just as expected, and we would definitely recommend it.

Room Tip: Calabash Cottage is right next to the main house and Almond is fairly close as well. Frangiapani sit...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2013

Balenbouche Estate is the perfect place for nature lovers. The cottages are very comfortable and beautiful. The natural environment is charming and very relaxing. The hosts are extremely welcoming. We would return there without a doubt.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013

We stayed at Balenbouche for 4 nights at the end of our St Lucia trip and very glad we did. The cottage was beautiful and the welcome and service fantastic. Our hosts made us instantly feel welcome and their cooking is excellent, I would definitely recommend sampling it.

This is definitely somewhere where we would love to return to and can not recommend it highly enough.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

If you like all-inclusive, swanky resorts this is NOT the place for you. If you like peace and quiet, beautiful surroundings, and some delicious home-prepared food then Ballenbouche is perfect. Hosts Uta and Verena offer something really special and our week in St Lucia was so much the richer for staying here. Our little cottage was simple but beautiful, the lush gardens a joy to explore and all their suggestions of places to visit were spot on. The company of one of the cats and several of their dogs made it feel like a home from home. Whenever we mentioned we were staying at Balenbouche local people were full of praise for the Lawaetz women and we would echo that: their efforts to preserve the estate and open it for others to enjoy are much appreciated.

Room Tip: There are two fully self-catering cottages and two more basic ones. In retrospect self-catering may...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

We stayed at Balenbouche for a week long Yoga experience. The hospitality is as good as it gets... anywhere !
We were cared for in every way.
The food was fascinating and the variety made every meal a perfect delight. Interesting teas and juices, smoothies and cocktails were prepared fresh at all meals.
Varena kept us on the go and was always there to ensure our adventures and excursions were inspiring, yet safe.
When we needed down time, the property was inviting and rejuvenating. Natural surroundings with soothing sights and sounds, are all around. Creatures of all types share this place... dogs, cats, tortoises, lizards, frogs, cattle, horses, birds and insects of many kinds, and more ! The landscape is just as varied, with flowers, fruits, and herbs of all kinds. And the SEA, the glorious sea.
Thank you ladies, for offering such wonderful and welcoming surroundings for our tropical escape.

Room Tip: OK, so the swimming pool was really the ocean, but it is fantastic. And the Fitness center is the b...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malden, Massachusetts
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

If you are looking for shiny surfaces and fiberglass Jacuzzis, you can skip this place. If you want to connect with the heart of the Caribbean and draw deep sustenance from its natural beauty, do not miss the chance to stay at Balenbouche Estate. Entering this remarkable sanctuary is like taking a step back centuries in time to a place where the frenetic confusion of modern life effortlessly dissolves. There is nothing Spartan about this place; the accommodations are spacious and beautifully designed, the meals are sumptuous, the surrounding forest and beckoning sea a flawlessly peaceful setting for relaxation and renewal. The Lawaetz women are unimaginably graceful and beautiful hosts who offer their guests a priceless gift in this utterly unique retreat they have built over the past 30 years.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Balenbouche Estate

Address: P.O. Box VF 707 | Saint Lucia, Laborie, St. Lucia
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Laborie Quarter > Laborie
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Laborie
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Balenbouche Estate is a secluded Historic Plantation Guesthouse offering several tropical vacation cottages on the south-western coast of St. Lucia. Beautifully landscaped gardens and nature trails surround the 70 acre property, which remains a working farm, heritage site, and family residence. Secluded beaches, hiking trails, and rivers are within walking distance. Our unique blend of tropical elegance, unspoiled nature, and warm hospitality will leave you truly relaxed and inspired. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Balenbouche Estate Hotel Laborie
Balenbouche Estate St. Lucia/Laborie

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