We stayed for a week at the Fond Doux Plantation, on the island's west side, midway between the international airport and Castries, the largest town on St. Lucia. If you are looking to be in a beachside, resort hotel, this is not the place for you. However, if you'd like a unique experience in a tropical forest environment while staying in a hillside cottage with friendly staff, then this is the ticket.
Fond Doux was once a cocoa plantation, but it still harvests a modest amount of cocoa and processes the beans on site. They make a cocoa stick that you can grind up to make hot chocolate. There a number of fruit and spice trees on the property that can be seen on a nice 1 hour plantation tour. If you've never seen where cocoa, cloves, mangos, bananas, oranges, grapefruit and a whole bunch more tropical foods come from, do take this tour. Hummingbirds and other local birds are in abundance.
Our package included breakfast which included their hot cocoa mixture. Eggs, toast, granola, hot cereal, fruit and coffee are included. There is also a nice restaurant for lunch and dinner. We had dinner there 3 nights and the meals were quite good and reasonably priced for St. Lucia. On some nights live entertainment is provided.
There are several hikes in the plantation, including one to a spectacular overlook of the Caribbean and the Petite Piton. The plantation is actually set between the Gros and Petit Pitons. The hotel also runs a shuttle to and from a nearby beach. The nearby town, Soufriere, is interesting. Definitely not a Caribbean tourist town with tee shirt and jewelry shops.
The staff is very friendly, open and knowledgeable. English is spoken and spoken well. The staff was easily able to arrange a trip for us to go on a day cruise to Martinique. There is also a free PC with Internet access. If you're on Hotmail, do have access to your secondary mail account as Microsoft blocks immediate access to your US Hotmail account until they send an access code to your other mail account.
The cabins are set in the tropical forest. Ours had two bedrooms, a living area and a small kitchen with a stove, microwave and refrigerator. We went to sleep each night with chirps from crickets, frogs and birds. Very relaxing environment.
About the only drawback was their advertised pool was really three small, round pools that are not heated nor do they have whirlpool jets. Lap swimming is not going to happen in these cascading sets of pools.
We were looking for a authentic St. Lucian experience. We got that and a whole bunch more. We'd return to Fond Doux if we visit St. Lucia again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Fond Doux Plantation & Resort is a 19th century eco-friendly colonial resort nestled in the heart of St. Lucia, best known for romantic, intimate, and private luxury cottages. The resort is situated amidst a 250 year old working plantation and features an assortment of 15 uniquely crafted cottages, two on-site restaurants, and a collage of outdoor swimming pools, as well as an organic spa. The resort is a scenic 45 minute drive from the island's international airport. As a guest of Fond Doux, you will be conveniently located just minutes away from St. Lucia's main attractions, including The Pitons, The Sulphur Springs - 'The Caribbean's only drive in volcano' - and the best diving sites on the island, all within a prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Site. Whether you're traveling for business, a romantic honeymoon or wedding escape, or for a fun-filled family vacation, Fond Doux Plantation & Resort offers the perfect ambiance in St. Lucia for all travel types. A mere glance out your cottage door will evoke both tranquillity and a journey into the land of adventure! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Fond Doux Holiday Plantation Hotel
- Fond Doux Plantation & Resort St. Lucia/Soufriere