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“New perspectives on chocolate!”

The Tree to Bar Experience at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat
Ranked #1 of 1 Food & Drink in Soufriere
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Unique to the Rabot Estate, the Tree to Bar Experience is an exclusive opportunity for guests to get up close and personal with everything to do with growing cocoa and culminates with creating their own chocolate! Guests start off with a walk through the estate groves, selecting ripe cocoa pods to cut from the tree, and ends with a hands-on trip to the Boucan kitchens where our chef will help guests make their own chocolate bar from beans that they have roasted themselves. The tour includes all the stages in between – from the seedling nursery and fermenting room,to the sun-drying station, grinding, mixing and lots of tasting!
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“New perspectives on chocolate!”
Reviewed April 25, 2014

My husband and I recently took the tree to bar tour at the Hotel Chocolat. It was fantastic! As foodies, we're both very interested in how food gets from "farm" to "table". Cuthbert Monroque is a wealth of information when it comes to cacao. We found him and his apprentice, Kurt Regis, a complete delight and were impressed with not only their knowledge, but the rigor and standards that they employ in running the plantation.

The first half of the tour is all about the cacao farm and how the beans are farmed, harvested, and processed. As visitors we were able to help graft a new cacao tree, under the tutelage of an expert grafter. The second half of the tour focused on the process of making chocolate bars. We got to grind chocolate nibs and craft our own (rather pitiful) bar, and then make a much better one using chocolate processed by the hotel.

After the tour we chose to stay and eat at the Hotel Chocolat, where every dish has some cacao or chocolate component. It was fabulous! The setting, high in the trees is lovely, and the food was outstanding.

The tour is not cheap, but nothing on the islands is, and we felt it was money well spent to learn something so new and different.

Visited April 2014
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Thank Bitzky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
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English first
Southampton
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Tree to Bar great - Hotel Staff not so”
Reviewed April 19, 2014

My new husband and I were on honeymoon in St Lucia and as a treat for me and a surprise he had arranged for us to to take part in the Tree to Bar experience, very expensive $80 per adult. Cuthbert and Kurt made this experience a memorable one with all the information and knowledge they have, they are both a credit to the company, plus we made our own bar of chocolate, the bit we didn't expect was grafting our own tree, which will be planted in the plantation and has our name associated with it so if we go back we will be able to see growing. Learning about all the processes was great and chocolate at the end, lovely.
We didn't stay at the Boucan and my husband had arrange for us to visit other places that day so chose not to eat there after the Tree to Bar Experience. Didn't find the Boucan hotel staff that friendly, which I feel let's the company down. I felt that the staff we met inside the dining area on the reception mainly let the Hotel Chocolat name down just because we were visiting shouldn't have made them treat us any different but they did, they were very friendly with residents of the hotel, but offish with us making me feel very uncomfortable. A customer is a customer for whatever reason they may be there. Would I recommend the experience, yes, would I recommend staying at the Boucan, NO.

Visited March 2014
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Thank Pound50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
“Marvelous experience”
Reviewed April 13, 2014

The tree to bar experience was definitely a highlight of our recent trip to St. Lucia. As other reviewers have mentioned, it is not an inexpensive tour - but it is worth every last penny in my book!

This is a hands-on experience. You get to harvest a cocoa pod, graft your own cocoa plant and make your own chocolate bar using a mortar and pestle - and so much more along the way! Cuthbert, our tour guide, has such a passion for cocoa cultivation and his tour was thoroughly entertaining as well as very informative. We hope to be fortunate enough to return to St. Lucia in 5-10 years to check on "our" cocoa trees!

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Amy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Tree to Bar chocolate Experience at the Boucan”
Reviewed April 10, 2014

We visited the Boucan on the Rabot Estate yesterday for the tree to bar tour as a party of 1 adult and 2 kids (16, 11). It's an expensive tour costing $80 each adult and $40 for children 11 and under. The tour is made up of two parts, the first part giving you a brief tour of the plantation and the cocoa growing process with an opportunity to graft your own cocoa tree to come back and visit in a few years and the second part, where you get to make your own chocolate bar. The whole tour combined lasts approx 3 hours. Our guides were Cuthbert and Curt. Cuthbert is a fantastic guide, passionate about cocoa and the eco-friendliness of the plantation. He is extremely knowledgeable and a really nice guy. We were shown how the cocoa pods are grown, were able to pick one of the pods, see how the pods are sorted and graft our own trees. This first part of the tour was great, although there was a bit too much information for the kids but it was a very hands-on experience which they loved! The second part of the tour, the chocolate making was fun but what let it down was being joined by another tour group of 20+ so suddenly, the experience felt less intimate and much more commercial. Even worse, we had to wait almost an hour for this group to arrive and place their lunch orders! The chocolate making process is fun but you need to work your biceps a bit to grind all the ingredients together to make the chocolate! Its a beautiful location with stunning views of the Pitons and the Boucan hotel is lovely but expensive if you plan on staying for drinks or lunch. All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our tour. No visit to St Lucia is complete without seeing a working cocoa plantation! They are building a factory here soon to actually make the chocolate on site too so we plan in coming back in a year or two to see this and of course, our cocoa trees!

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Worldtraveller2902
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A great tour, a full on Chocolate experience!”
Reviewed March 30, 2014 via mobile

This is an excellent day out and a must do experience if you like chocolate. I learned so much about the process, this tour really teaches you so much. This was definitely a highlight of my trip to St Lucia.

We participated in the tree to bean and then bean to bar tours. I found the tree to bean the most interesting as we got to walk the grounds, cut down ripened pods and even graft our own tree (which we can visit later on return trips to the estate) Cuthbert & Kurt were our guides for both tours were excellent. Cuthbert has a true passion and was very knowledgeable.

After the tours, we ate a delicious lunch in the Boucan restaurant. The views are amazing and the cocktails are expertly crafted.The Boucan has sleek styling and lots of cool design details. Well worth the trip!

Helpful?
1 Thank Time-to-trvl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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