We stayed with the Lawaetz family at Balenbouche Estate for a week in mid July 2013.
We had the most wonderful time here, every day waking to the jungle chorus at first light, before walking down through an adjoining field of palms to a small bay for a sea swim at sunrise.
Uta, Verena and Anatanija made us feel like members of the extended family during our stay, spending time with us over breakfast making sure we were making the most of our time in St Lucia.
While our vegan dietary requirements are often alien to hoteliers around the world, at Balenbouche it was treated as a special challenge, with freshly prepared coconut milk with our coffee for breakfast, fresh fruit and vegetables including more types of mango than I knew existed! Evening meals at the Estate are genuinely wonderful, dining outdoors on the first floor veranda overlooking the beautiful estate gardens during sunset.
Our accommodation had been 'upgraded' to the best available free cottage during our stay, so we benefited from a self catering kitchen, choice of (naturally ventilated) bedrooms and an intriguingly crafted outdoor stone floored shower disguised within a tree trunk.
We soon became accustomed to the natural pace of life at Balenbouche, as there is no unneccessary and unnatural outdoor lighting, and very little noise other than the chirp of crickets and ciccada beetles at night.
Our stay on St Lucia was greatly enhanced by the local knowledge provided by the family, interesting spots and highlights on the island can be difficult to find, as signposting is "subtle" at best! Even the visit of tropical storm Chantal during our stay was an opportunity to hear stories of previous years storms, together with how homeowners prepare for the weather and a morning spend browsing the extensive library of art, history and architecture books within the main estate family house.
We left looking forward to the day when we can return, and definitely recommending Balenbouche to all friends and family!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Balenbouche Estate is a secluded Historic Plantation Guesthouse offering several tropical vacation cottages on the south-western coast of St. Lucia. Beautifully landscaped gardens and nature trails surround the 70 acre property, which remains a working farm, heritage site, and family residence. Secluded beaches, hiking trails, and rivers are within walking distance. Our unique blend of tropical elegance, unspoiled nature, and warm hospitality will leave you truly relaxed and inspired. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Balenbouche Estate Hotel Laborie
- Balenbouche Estate St. Lucia/Laborie