We stayed at Balenbouche for 5 days after spending the first week of our vacation at Crystals about 30 minutes north near Soufriere. We actually honeymooned at Crystals and then got married at Balenbouche. A bit backwards, but it worked beautifully! We had the view, the cool night air, and the great happy hour at Crystals and the calm, relaxation of the Balenbouche Estate.
We loved, loved Balenbouche! The two ladies who were our hosts, Uta and her daughter, Verena, were exceptonal. So calm and charming and competent. They dealt with all my wedding needs (and I had as many as any bride) with such kindness. And the wedding dinner for the six of us in the wedding party was just wonderful.
I am giving Balenbouche a 5 but with the expected warning that it is not for everyone. For us, it was perfect and totally fed my spirit with its lovely grounds. If you want trails on which to meander, benches on which to relax, gorgeous water lilies to photograph, cows and horses to watch frolic (yes, they had frolicking cows!) and fascinating ruins to explore, you’ll love the estate, too. Oh- and I can’t forget the private beach – but with a warning: while the walk to the beach is nice, the beach itself has no shade so be prepared to be hot.
We stayed in the Almond cottage which was more like a glorified camping experience since the kitchen, dining and living areas are all open to the elements – sort of a large porch. The two bedrooms were enclosed and could be locked. The rock shower was very cool (with lots of hot water) but if the wind blew the curtain up, your naked self was exposed to the great outdoors. A bit disconcerting until I figured out how to hold down the curtain with rocks. There are three two-person swings on the porch which we put to good use. Pictures don’t do this cottage justice which is why most people don’t post them. It is not very attractive from the outside but once you enter, it’s very nice – again, sort of like really nice camping. We had 9 people on the porch at one time and it was not crowded; a great place for some casual entertaining.
We were married in front of some old ruins that currently house the tortoises so I tell people we were married in front of the turtle house. That makes me smile.
My favorite memory (other than my wedding ceremony, of course) was sitting on the veranda of the “big house” for breakfast each morning and hearing the local school children sing “We are the World.” That made me smile, too. There is lots to smile about at Balenbouche.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Balenbouche Estate is a Historic Plantation Guesthouse offering several tropical vacation cottages. The 80 acre property includes an expansive park with colonial plantation house, 18th century sugar mill, yoga barn, fruit orchards, lily ponds, nature trails and two secluded beaches just a 5 minute walk away. Balenbouche is not a resort and remains a working organic farm, heritage site, and family residence with a focus on wellness, sustainability and conservation. Our eco-chic accommodations are created from historic structures and sleep between 2 and 6 people, some include kitchens. We prepare breakfast daily, and dinner 2 - 3 times a week by reservation. There is a restaurant within walking distance. Several other St Lucia restaurants as well as a supermarket are a short drive away. We are located 20 minutes from the International airport and 30 minutes from the town of Soufriere, near many of the islands best attractions. Balenbouche is a magical place, a world in itself, popular with artists, photographers, green travelers, wedding couples, honeymooners and families. Our family has owned and managed the estate for three generations. Gradually, the property was transformed into a well known St Lucia attraction, guesthouse and retreat venue. Many of our guests feel very much at home at Balenbouche Estate, and keep returning! ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Balenbouche Estate Hotel Laborie
- Balenbouche Estate St. Lucia/Laborie