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“Paradise!”
Review of Balenbouche Estate

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Balenbouche Estate
Ranked #1 of 2 Laborie B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Paradise!”
Reviewed August 21, 2013

Balenbouche Estate is a magical place where I was lucky to enjoy unforgettable one week of a very relaxing stay. The accommodation was very comfortable and it's rustic feel absolutely charming. The food was always excellent, full of delicious and fresh local flavours. The heritage site and it's fascinating history is surrounded by beautiful nature and very short walk to secluded and picturesque beach. Perfect retreat for nature lovers who are looking to unwind in peace and quiet.
Many Thanks to Uta, Anitanija and Verena for being the most amazing hostesses and making me feel like a part of their family. Form start to finish it was the most fantastic and inspiring week of my life. I would definitely love to come back!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Violetta2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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93 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 28, 2013

We stayed at Balenbouche for a week earlier this year. My two daughters loved the freedom of being able to roam around the grounds with Ute's many dogs; we all loved the walk through the fields to the secluded beach, and the great surf. Almond cottage was comfortable and as cooling. Ute was kind and helpful. We would all love to go back. Come prepared with mosquito and biting insect repellent.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Nicolab6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 15, 2013

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!

Room Tip: Banyan cottage is large and well appointed. Be prepared for when you hear the first mango hit the ro...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Gareth C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2013

We chose Balenbouche because of all the great reviews and because it looked down to earth and different - as far from an all-inclusive beach resort as you can get - and that's exactly what it was. We stayed in the Almond Cottage for three nights and were very happy with our choice. Verena and Uta were lovely hostesses and the many dogs and cats made us feel right at home. One cat, Cali, pretty much stayed in our cottage the whole time, enjoying the attention, and one of the dogs took up camp on our front stoop, sat with us at breakfast, and even escorted us to the beach. We could see and hear cows from our window. Breakfasts on the porch of the "big house" was fresh mango, mango juice, coffee, warm rolls with cheese and jam, and scrambled eggs. Our cottage was comfortable and we just left the doors and windows of the bedroom open all night. The rest of the house is open anyway so you do have to not mind bugs and a few small lizards. The outdoor shower, which has a curtain that blows open to the great outdoors, has a few tiny resident frogs. Wasn't a problem. Do bring your ear plugs though. The frog and insect noises at night are close to deafening, especially if you aren't used to it. We mainly used Balenbouche as a base for exploring, and drove up to Ladera for lunch, to see the volcano, and walk the Tet Paul Trail. We did spend a couple hours on the beach about a 10 min. walk from our cottage, wading in the water and getting some sun, but the current makes it not good for swimming. If the idea of living in an open air cottage and having the outdoors come in sounds good to you, you can't do any better. We enjoy camping and this was a big step up from that, but it's not everyone's cup of tea. For us, it was just as expected, and we would definitely recommend it.

Room Tip: Calabash Cottage is right next to the main house and Almond is fairly close as well. Frangiapani sit...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank NewYorkGirlNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2013

Balenbouche Estate is the perfect place for nature lovers. The cottages are very comfortable and beautiful. The natural environment is charming and very relaxing. The hosts are extremely welcoming. We would return there without a doubt.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank JeanNicolasAudet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2013

We stayed at Balenbouche for 4 nights at the end of our St Lucia trip and very glad we did. The cottage was beautiful and the welcome and service fantastic. Our hosts made us instantly feel welcome and their cooking is excellent, I would definitely recommend sampling it.

This is definitely somewhere where we would love to return to and can not recommend it highly enough.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Andrew P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2013

If you like all-inclusive, swanky resorts this is NOT the place for you. If you like peace and quiet, beautiful surroundings, and some delicious home-prepared food then Ballenbouche is perfect. Hosts Uta and Verena offer something really special and our week in St Lucia was so much the richer for staying here. Our little cottage was simple but beautiful, the lush gardens a joy to explore and all their suggestions of places to visit were spot on. The company of one of the cats and several of their dogs made it feel like a home from home. Whenever we mentioned we were staying at Balenbouche local people were full of praise for the Lawaetz women and we would echo that: their efforts to preserve the estate and open it for others to enjoy are much appreciated.

Room Tip: There are two fully self-catering cottages and two more basic ones. In retrospect self-catering may...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Tania H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Balenbouche Estate

Property: Balenbouche Estate
Address: Balembouche, Laborie, St. Lucia
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Laborie Quarter > Laborie
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Laborie
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Balenbouche Estate 3*
Number of rooms: 4
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

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