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“In a league of its own in St Lucia” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Boucan by Hotel Chocolat

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Boucan by Hotel Chocolat
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Rabot Estate | P.O. Box 312, Soufriere, St. Lucia   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 12 hotels in Soufriere
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“In a league of its own in St Lucia”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

Hotel Chocolat seems to divide opinion on Trip. But look at their website and if you like what you see then this is what they deliver, in spades! It’s contemporary modern with a light touch. Not stuffy, not formal and no linen covers for dinner. The staff are approachable, friendly and relaxed. If you want the feel of a 5-star full-service ‘resort’ then Chocolat probably isn’t for you. This is a boutique hotel with a boutique feel.

The standard lodges are a good size and lovely while the luxe lodges offer a bit more space and a sun terrace with a better view. But having seen both, I’d recommend the standard lodges – at 30% less than the luxes, I think they are better value. I’d spend what you save on car hire – Avis local are good, we paid £40 a day for a jeep – and this allows you the freedom to explore St Lucia independently. Plus, spend on the best of the Chocolat ‘experiences’, the speedboat tour: complete with captain and guide, zip round the coast, visit Pigeon Island, moor up for lunch (you can specify where you want to eat or Chocolat provide a cool box with lunch and drinks) and take some snorkelling kit to dive off the coast into the ocean and see some amazing fish off the reefs. It’s a seriously glamorous day trip

Chocolat is clearly not on the beach but in the rainforest. This may be a concern for some. They provide daily boat transport for the short hop to Sugar Beach but there’s a problem here: the beach hotel dominates and won’t let you use its sun loungers. It’s a public beach but there are only a few lower grade sun loungers you can hire, many without cover or you’re shoved to the least best corner of the beach. Many of the beaches work like this. Best is the quiet ‘local’ beach – if you have a car, drive towards Soufriere, take the turning for Sugar Beach and turn right before you hit Martha’s Tables restaurant. Here you can do as you wish; there is shade, good snorkelling and a basic bar for a cool drink. Unfortunately this beach won’t stay like this forever – another hotel resort is in the offing. Chocolat are planning to run their own pop-up style beaches so you might want to ask them about this.

The Boucan restaurant is good. Don’t worry, everything isn’t drenched in chocolate! They have inventive ways of using the cocoa nib that tie in nicely to the fact that this is after all a revitalised cocoa plantation. You can probably eat in for 4 nights before you feel like you’re working your way through the menu. At the bar, make sure you try at least one of the potent Chairman’s Rum Punch.

Special thanks to all the staff, bar none - we will especially remember Margaret, Esna, Nyola, Didier, Judy and the superb Inalee!

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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177 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Danville, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

We stayed for 4 nights in February. The view and rooms were great, and the full cocoa tour can't be beat. However, I debated between a 3 or 4 rating because (a) the grounds were nice but not the kind at which I'd want to lounge around and (b) the food at Boucan didn't live up to how fantastic it read. I opted for 4 simply because other places I'd recommend (e.g. Ladera across the street) cost a fair amount more.

If you're looking for a resort with great pool and grounds to lounge around at, this isn't it. The grounds are pretty, but you're on a cocoa plantation no where near a beach and limited lounging space. There is a medium size infinity pool with some lounge chairs around it, but we never went to it once. We used Chocolat as a home base for exploring the Pitons, rain forest, diving, etc. If you're visiting St Lucia and don't spend some quality time in the Soufriere area, shame on you - the whole area is spectacular and, other than Dominica, unique in the Caribbean. Then we went up to the north side for the usual beach experience.

Boucan was our main disappointment. As chocoholics and food lovers, the online menu was a huge draw. It reads amazing. I was really looking forward to experiencing cocoa as a savory item in some great meals, plus of course great desserts, but we ate there the first night and never returned for lunch or dinner (breakfast was included). Really just average food and the service was off the charts slow. Our best meals by far were at the other places we visited around Soufriere.

The cocoa tour however is not to be missed. Starting from the different kinds of cocoa plants, to seeing the fermentation and drying, grafting our own plant, and finally making our own chocolate bar direct from beans we ground ourselves with mortar and pestle. Fascinating and fun!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Berkshire
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

We stayed for 3 nights, and thoroughly enjoyed the visit to the hotel, the restaurant and this area of St Lucia ( we had 5 nights at Ti Kaye beforehand) It is adult luxury- intimate with only c 14 lodges, and a small but perfectly formed pool. We stayed in the standard lodge No. 1, and it had a great view, as well as being large, airy, relaxing and welcoming. Lovely touches like complimentary prosecco, nuts, rum punch ...in addition to usual tea and coffee. And the setting....The photos do not lie. The setting is indeed superb. We enjoyed the walks around the estate too and Judy was helpful and gave very personal attention - pointing us in the direction of a virtually deserted beach just 5 mins down the road. Hotel staff helpful and friendly- I even had walking poles made for me for my walk up Gros Piton as BA lost mine (I have left them for future guests!) I did the chocolate bean to bar tour- fun and informative if a bit overpriced. We thought the standard of cooking in the restauarant was very high so ate there all 3 nights, and enjoyed each meal - but as the menu does not change it was getting to feel a bit repetitive. Perhaps a "specials of the day" would prevent this? Service in the restaurant always efficient, but not effusive and some friendlier than others. We felt 3 nights was about the right length of time for a visit as it enabled us to do different things around Soufriere..

Room Tip: Lodge 1 had a good view and is in the standard category
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tobago
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

Ambiance was wonderful. Open space, high ceiling, amazing view of the pitons. Despite being right next to Ladera, the view was interrupted and was breath taking. Loved the idea of cuisine based around cocoa. Fell flat on delivery of food and service. The food looked really good on the plates but the flavours were disappointing. Service was too slow, no smiles, servers uninterested and seemed untrained. Got a chance to see one of their rooms/cottage which was beautiful. Would love visit again on one of my visits, but having to think of dining elsewhere may make the option not practical.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tickhill, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

We chose this hotel having enjoyed Hotel Chocolat's chocolates for many years. We spent 5 days there to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. A delightful experience. All the staff are so welcoming and friendly; the rooms are large, well equipped and set in beautiful grounds; the cuisine is very special in using chocolate in most of its dishes - do not be put off as this does not mean everything is coated in chocolate sauce - quite the contrary - a subtle addition of chocolate nibs adds an interesting spicy flavour to dishes. For chocoholics it's paradise - for those with a more controlled enthusiasm, it's an exciting and enlightening experience. We did the "Tree to Bar" experience, exploring the chocolate making process from beginning to the end product which included grafting our own cocoa plant (which will be cultivated on the estate and which we will be able to see on our next trip !) and making our own bar - highly recommended. The estate grows its own fruit in addition to cocoa so the fruit platter at breakfast is the loveliest freshest most flavourful fruit I have ever eaten. Slightly out of the way, though daily there is a free shuttle bus to a nearby beach. The hotel has only 14 rooms which is a positive advantage in creating a small, friendly ambiance. They made our special event very special with lovely personal touches. Loved it !!

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Judy B, Head of Guest Relations at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
So glad your special event was well celebrated with us. The breakfast fruit platter is my favourite too!
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Sussex
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013 via mobile

Have stayed in literally hundreds of hotels and this has to be far the best ever experience. Great service with and informal feel. Superb food with a chocolate twist. Luxe rooms are a real treat. By far better than the anonymous beach resorts

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Judy B, Head of Guest Relations at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
True praise indeed from a well seasoned luxury traveller. Heart-felt thanks that you appreciated our approach!
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Boston
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

IHotel Boucan is set in a lovely spot on the edge of the forest with views of the Petite Piton but a bit too low for views of the sea. We loved that it had none of the feel of the overdone resorts that populate much of the island. We are happy to have sprung for the luxe lodge, as the room was large and decorated, as is the entire property, in chocolate brown with a perfect view and open to the outdoors. The mosquito netting on the king bed may be necessary under some conditions, but we experienced few if any biting insects. The bathroom was to die for-- semi-outdoor full rain shower, stylish fixtures, and double sinks. The service is impeccable and island-friendly. We had breakfast brought to our room, and despite the uphill climb with a full tray, the waitstaff made us feel that they were happy to do it. Breakfasts were lovely; eggs were done to perfection each morning, although the fresh fruit platter rarely contained ripe fruits, as if they were more concerned with the look of the plate than the taste. A lunch at the pool of chicken roti could not have been more delicious or more nicely presented. The dinners were delicious and beautifully served, but limited in choices, which is a problem if you are taking all your meals at the hotel and staying for more than two nights. In addition, the dining room ambiance was anything but romantic-- for a truly romantic dinner, walk across the street to Ladera and enjoy its views of the Pitons and the sea. The problem with the ambiance could easily be remedied with tablecloths and a lot less lighting. We did not do any of the guided tours, instead enjoying self-guided hikes into the forest and to the neighboring farms. We did take advantage of the spa and highly recommend the unique chocolate scrub.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Judy B, Head of Guest Relations at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Great review of our Luxe rooms, food and service, thanks.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Boucan by Hotel Chocolat

Also Known As:
Boucan By Hotel Chocolat St. Lucia/Soufriere
Address: Rabot Estate | P.O. Box 312, Soufriere, St. Lucia
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Soufriere Quarter > Soufriere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Soufriere
#7 Family Hotel in Soufriere
#9 Romantic Hotel in Soufriere
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Boucan by Hotel Chocolat 4.5*
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. 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. 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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