We had some mixed views on this plantation. On the plus side, the hotel is family owned and personal, the plantation is absolutely beautiful with a rich history, and it feels like a much more authentic local experience than staying at a commercial resort right on the beach. The hotel is a lovely secluded local place with just a handful of guests (only 12 cottages there now) and there is a fun friendly vibe. We had some really tasty home-cooked meals and met some great staff (the drivers in particular) who were very helpful. The hotel also had a number of special poolside drinks and parties with local music, which made for some wonderful evenings.
On the other hand, the relaxed atmosphere also has its drawbacks. Our cottage (Treehouse), while being very secluded with beautiful views of the canopy and a plunge pool, had some problems, namely no roof on the bathroom so we could hear each other in the loo at all times! In addition most of the living space is outside - though the deck is lovely, the fridge and coffee pot (without proper coffee) are out there and lizards and birds could get into all the sugar and coffee that we bought (even though we tried to hide it from them)! To be honest, the room wasn't particularly clean (hair clogs in the shower greeted us on day one), the phone kept ringing accidentally from poor wiring, and the mosquitoes are brutal, though there are no mosquito coils or spray to use. Another drawback was some lack of organization - as others have commented, it wasn't clear to us who manages the restaurant or the reception, and we had mixed experiences with service at both of those at times (a little bit too relaxed and disorganized). Finally, while the cost may be low compared to other hotels in St Lucia, I don't think there are really enough amenities or nice enough rooms to justify the price.
Another thing to be aware of is that while there is a daily shuttle to the beach, once you get to the beach the options may feel a little limited. At Sugar Beach and the two nearest beaches, non-residents of the local hotel can't rent the beautiful chairs taking up most of the beachfront. You would be stuck in less prime locations renting cheaper beach chairs, plopping on a towel among the nice chairs, or in the "free" area on broken plastic chairs and pebbles instead of sand. Even when the hotel's chairs can be rented (we could never rent them), it's up to $50 per person. This lack of good beach access was an unexpected drawback which you might not know from the hotel website.
So, while I love the idea of staying at a place like this which is family-run, gorgeous, and very unique, there is a lot of potential which hasn't yet been realized. If that potential was realized, I would definitely consider going back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Fond Doux Plantation House and Cottages are designed to give guests the option to be as connected or sequestered in nature’s embrace as desired. The tropical setting at Fond Doux Holiday Plantation at once relaxes, enveloping you in completely natural surroundings with the unobtrusive convenience of modern amenities, attentive professional staff trained in tropical hospitality, and access to a host of convenient services. Step out of your plantation cottage or suite and into the healing arms of nature in this tropical paradise. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Fond Doux Holiday Plantation Hotel
- Fond Doux Holiday Plantation St. Lucia/Soufriere