When I booked our cottage for Fond Doux for our honeymoon it looked like an amazing place to stay. Today we leave this amazing place and we are so very impressed by the entire plantation. A few highlights:
1. The view we got of the island from our patio was breathtaking. You can see a few houses spotting the landscape, but it is basically uninterrupted rainforest.
2. The staff is so very friendly. I wish I could remember all of the names of the people who have waited on us with a smile and helpful information, but suffice to say, every single person we dealt with was extremely helpful.
3. The food is magnificent. Prepare yourself for a buffet style breakfast and lunch on most days, but the dinner is off a menu that rotates every few days. Every dinner we had was wonderful and we couldn't help but stuff ourselves a little bit each night. And the desserts...our favorite was the Pumpkin Pudding. But that's not to say the Mango Crumble, Coconut Balls, Custard or any of the other desserts weren't fantastic as well.
4. The drinks. We had three favorite drinks while we were here: The Rum Punch. The first time we had the Rum Punch we were taken back by all the different flavors involved. The daiquiris were phenomenal, but very dangerous (couldn't taste the alcohol so much, but it was there for sure). And our personal favorite was the Piña Colada. We could have drank those all day long. Best Piña Colada either of us have ever had.
5. The atmosphere. Having a candlelit dinner every night was fantastic. I know some people will bring their families here, but it gives a very relaxing feel to dinner where music is playing and it is easy to have a conversation with the people at your table without having to raise your voice above the other sounds, because there aren't a whole lot of distracting sounds.
6. You get your own cottage! That's right. You don't just get a room stacked next to hundreds of other rooms, you get your very own cottage. There are cottages for large families and there are cottages for couples. Some of the cottages (the honeymoon cottages) have private swimming pools.
We did a few fun activities on the island that didn't necessarily have to do with the Plantation, but we would recommend the Sunset Cruise, Ziplining and the Sulphur Springs Mud Bath (all of which can be booked through the Reception office)
There are also some things to think about. These are not criticisms, just things we noticed that (at least for a modernized America) might be a little different.
1. Water pressure. Most people love water pressure in the shower. I love water pressure in the shower. At Fond Doux you don't get a whole lot of water pressure. It takes longer to shower, but neither my wife nor I found an issue with this. It made us slow down and really relax and enjoy where we were. It was wonderful and different.
2. There are bugs here. But not as many as you might think. My wife and I have bug bites, but that's because we haven't really used the bug spray while we've been here. We have seen very few bugs during our stay and really the only way we know they do exist is because of our itchiness.
3. The restaurant at Fond Doux, compared to the rush rush rush of American culture, is very laid back and slowly paced. When we sat down at the table and ordered drinks we learned very quickly that this was not a trip to a restaurant in America. The staff took their time making the drinks and bringing them back and taking our order, etc. We thoroughly enjoyed it. We are so used to rushing around and this atmosphere forced us to slow down and enjoy the evening and where we were. And we are very grateful for that atmosphere. It was great to be able to slow down and just enjoy the evening.
4. Your night will be filled with a cacophony of sound brought to you by creatures of the rainforest. Birds, frogs, insects, etc. fill the night air with a constant, unending sound. We loved the sounds at night and eventually we even forgot they were there. We found it very relaxing.
5. There is wifi by the pools. And sometimes it is very spotty. But, come on, you're in a rainforest. You don't need to be looking at technology all the time. Enjoy everything around you.
6. The Plantation tour is a lot of fun, but be prepared to hike up a hillside quite a ways. We were not expecting the hike and it is a bit tiring. But we really did enjoy it and recommend it to anyone who is willing to make the trek up the hillside to look out over the island toward the ocean. It really is brilliantly beautiful.
7. There is no air conditioning. There are fans in the rooms, but don't expect your room to feel like your house or apartment at home. You are in a humid rainforest. Enjoy yourself. Allow yourself to take in all the aspects of Fond Doux.
Sure, you could go stay at one of the 45 billion Sandals resorts on the island, but if you truly want to experience the island and not get distracted by the über-tourist side of things, Fond Doux is an excellent place to stay.
We hope to come back some day and we will definitely be booking a cottage at Fond Doux.