Yes, the island itself is the most beautiful we have seen in the Caribbean. Yes, the location, on a mountain hillside, with a magnificent view, was wonderful. Yes, everyone from cabdrivers to hotel staff was friendly. And yes, the food, most especially the presentation, was creative and flavorful. But there are some "No's," and some general recommendations regarding the hotel and the island. Despite many Tripadvisor recommendations from folks who I'm certain have NOT stayed in the "regular" bungalows, we still can't see why the "luxury" bungalows are worth a 50% price premium -- unless, perhaps, you plan to stay in your room the entire time, and love the extra walking and stairs it takes to reach those aeries. And we decided not to spring for the full meal plan, and are glad of it. I can't believe even a devoted chocoholic wouldn't soon tire of the ever-present cacao, meal after meal, dish after dish, beginning with breakfast. Our solution after two days: walk across the street to the Ladera resort (twice as expensive as Boucan for the cheapest rooms) to dine at their Dasheene (yam) restaurant, for a wonderful meal blessedly free of chocolate. The menu, unlike Boucan's, seems to change every day. And it has an even better view: the two Pitons + the bay -- we can't imagine a more spectacular view than sunset dinner at Dasheene. And salads where, unlike the case at Boucan, you don't have to ask for oil and vinegar on the side, in place of the standard white chocolate dressing. Hotel Chocolat does tell guests about the possibility of lizards and such in your room, and the occasional whiff of sulfur from the nearby dormant volcano --it keeps away the boa constrictors that appear to be limited to the northern end of the island, where the big resorts -- like Sandals -- and the cruise ships discharge day visitors. But they don't tell you about what they say, on being asked, is an island-wide problem: occasional problems with plumbing. Sometimes the island water administration turns off the water to resorts/private homes. I couldn't understand why, but it happened three times in the week we were there. As a result, most private homes have their own cistern, and Chocolat has its own 500-gallon reservoir, which must be manually opened to replace water not flowing from island pipes. The result: don't be alarmed if, on waking, the sinks and shower have no water (and, one morning, no toilet!). It starts flowing, eventually, and often minutes later. A notation on the printed note to guests would avoid panic calls to the front desk. Restaurant service is friendly, but mostly young and inexperienced. Dasheene's wait staff easily averages 10 to 20 years older, with service that reflects that experience. Take advantage of hotel-arranged cabs to nearby Sugar Beach, where free chaises in the shade are available, on a white sand -- imported from Trinidad because the last hurricane washed away the black -- beach, with tropical fish and corals nearby. Also a beach-side restaurant for lunch with great drinks and an amazing salad bar: shrimp, tuna, and more varied salads and dressings than you'd find in a month at Boucan, for $18. Save your receipt, because that's the only way the golf cart will bring you up to the security gate where most cabs leave you off. Otherwise It's a steep trek back. So would we come back to the island? Definitely. Would we recommend Boucan? Absolutely! But would we stay there again? Perhaps -- but we might try someplace new. We had a wonderful vacation, and thought both the island and the hotel were lovely, close to Paradise. It wouldn't take that much to bring the hotel even closer.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover plantation chic - luxury, well-being & stunning natural beauty. Situated high in the hills near Soufriere, set in rainforest & cocoa groves with stunning views of the Piton mountains. A daily transfer is provided for guests to a stunning nearby beach by Hotel Sea Launch. Guests can enjoy trail walks around the cocoa estate, cacao inspired treatments in the spa, relaxation in Club Boucan with its private infinity pool & the exclusive cacao cuisine at Boucan Restaurant & Bar, free laundry service, room additions and Tree to Bean tour. Boucan by Hotel Chocolat offer 2 types of accommodation, both with 4 poster beds, preloaded iPods & docking stations, complimentary wireless, a mini-bar & open sky rainforest showers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Boucan By Hotel Chocolat St. Lucia/Soufriere