My husband and I just returned from a week-long honeymoon at Boucan.
We very much enjoyed ourselves, and loved the solitude and quiet of the hotel. There are only 14 lodges, and they are all separate, which meant that you had 28 possible people staying at the hotel at one time.
We booked the honeymoon package, which included upgrade to Luxe Lodge, travel to & from airport, 2 massages, a sunset cruise, full board at the restaurant, $50 beverage credit daily, breakfast in bed the first day, bottle of bubbly in the room at arrival, and a private dinner by the pool one night.
We did a lot of things last week, so I thought I'd go through the pros and cons of each.
Lodging: Luxe Lodge
Pros: Beautiful views, nice shower, porch for relaxing privately, open air, so the breeze cooled off quite a bit in the evening. I loved the cookies each day.
Cons: The late afternoon sun really warmed up the room, and the fan isn't very strong, so we learned to close the room off from the porch around 2 pm and leave it closed until after the sun set, which mitigated some of the heat. Again, they're open air, and there are about 3 feet between lodges. There were quite a few honeymooners, and sound tended to carry.
Pros: Wow, what a breakfast! I loved the fruit medley, yogurt smoothie, and daily juice each day. I tended to go a bit lighter by the end of the week by not having the bacon, yogurt, or the porridge, but still having eggs, toast, and those delightful banana/chocolate muffins. The breakfast definitely set you up for the day.
Lunch was always good. By the end of the week, even though we were on full board, I was only ordering one course since there's so much food!
Dinner was great every evening. The amuse bouche and palate cleansing sorbet were a wonderful touch!
Cons: Sometimes, I did wish that there were some options without chocolate, as I was becoming a bit choco-ed out.There are some options that are fresher, like the tuna & dorado tartare that I would suggest when you're feeling a bit fatigued.
Services: Spa & concierge
Pros: The massage & mani-pedi I got at the beginning of the week were great. The manicure is still going strong, and I'm very hard on my nails. My husband liked his massage so much that he booked a second one before we left. The front desk was able to help with booking taxis and making other restaurant reservations (which we had two nights since we were off full board for 2 of the 7 days).
Cons: We had a mix-up on a taxi we'd scheduled the night before we left to go to a restaurant. Another couple had made the same plans, then cancelled, and our plans accidentally got cancelled as well. There were also some things that I was surprised the front desk didn't have on hand, like a small store of essentials since the pharmacy was not nearby. There was no way to get sunscreen or minor medical remedies like pepto or antacids. So if you think you might need it while you're there, bring more than necessary, because you might not be able to get to Soufriere while the shops are open.
Experiences: Beach & Excursions
Pros: The ability to go to Sugar Beach was great. We went down 2 days and rented loungers for $50 a pop from the Viceroy. There are some free ones, but we were there for our honeymoon and the loungers are worth it for the view, umbrella, and service. We also really enjoyed the zipline tour that's just down the road. The food sent on the Underwater Explorer was very tasty. I enjoyed it. The Tree to Bean & Bean to Bar experiences were GREAT! I loved learning so much about the way that cocoa is grown and how chocolate is made. One of my favorite experiences of the week!
Cons: We had scheduled the Underwater Explorer for the Tuesday we were there, and we only found out that we were taking the water taxi all day when we got down to Soufriere to shuttle the beachgoers to Sugar Beach and then go off to a few different snorkeling locations. Apparently the Boucannier was in dry dock being fixed, so they replaced it with a small water taxi with benches. Color me not-impressed. I would have requested to use an outside vendor if I'd have known. The snorkeling was good, and it was nice to see the different Anse on the coast, but it was my first time snorkeling, and there wasn't much instruction on what fish to expect and what the different coral looked like. Since I'd seen that the larger Boucannier II boat was in port, I expected the group of 4 couples to take that on the Sunset Cruise on Thursday, so I took a note from the description and wore a dress. Nope. Water Taxi. I got soaked, the boat rocked in the wind and waves, and we were all cramped. Again, I was rather disappointed, but I tried really hard to hide my disappointment from the other couples and just enjoy what I could and soak in the views, but I felt like it was a waste of time and money, and it put me in a bad mood that I really didn't want to be on on my honeymoon. So take a note from me and be sure to confirm what vessel you'll be on BEFORE you book your water excursions, and if it's not going to be the Boucannier, book independently through another provider. It's not worth the disappointment when you're on a vacation that you've looked forward to for 9 months to be on a tiny water taxi.
Pros: Gorgeous views, cool water, board & tabletop games, books, and a mix of shaded and full-sun lounging.
Cons: Service at the bar downstairs is spotty, especially in the mid-afternoon. If you want something to drink, you'd be better to go upstairs and order from the main bar.
Summary: All in all, it was a great vacation, and beautiful hotel with a delicious restaurant, but I was disappointed in a few service aspects. If we'd have been just lodging, and arranged meals and excursions on our own, I probably would have given it more stars.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover plantation chic - luxury, well-being & stunning natural beauty. Situated high in the hills near Soufriere, set in rainforest & cocoa groves with stunning views of the Piton mountains. A daily transfer is provided for guests to a stunning nearby beach by Hotel Sea Launch. Guests can enjoy trail walks around the cocoa estate, cacao inspired treatments in the spa, relaxation in Club Boucan with its private infinity pool & the exclusive cacao cuisine at Boucan Restaurant & Bar, free laundry service, room additions and Tree to Bean tour. Boucan by Hotel Chocolat offer 2 types of accommodation, both with 4 poster beds, preloaded iPods & docking stations, complimentary wireless, a mini-bar & open sky rainforest showers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Boucan By Hotel Chocolat St. Lucia/Soufriere