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 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