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Boucan by Hotel Chocolat
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Reviewed 3 December 2012

We stayed at the Hotel Chocolat for four nights of our honeymoon after spending six nights at the Sandals La Toc. To sum it up, the hotel exceeded all of our expectations. It was truly more beautiful than it appears on the website - something I have never been able to say about a hotel before. We stayed in a regular lodge, which was plenty spacious and well-appointed. Despite being open-air (shutters on the windows and open-air shower), the room was extremely luxurious. We had very few critters - I think the fact that the lodges are built on pylons above the ground helps with that. And the mosquito net was romantic and functional. Our only complaint was that the sofa in the room was somewhat uncomfortable. But that wasn't too much of a problem since we mostly spent our time laying on the many comfortable loungers around the hotel grounds.

The hotel grounds were gorgeous. There is a beautiful and relaxing fountain area near the lodges and there is the pool and deck area also appointed with loungers and rocking adirondack chairs. The infinity pool is gorgeous and refreshing. We enjoyed hanging out at the hotel so much that we ended up canceling one of our planned excursions.

As others have written, the restaurant is a true highlight. I looked forward to every single meal we ate there. It was some of the best food I've eaten in my life, not just on our honeymoon. The dishes are unique and incredibly tasty, and the food is on par with what I've eaten at the best restaurants in New York City. The breakfast, which is included with the room rate, includes fresh local fruit, granola, yogurt, fresh baked bread, eggs (any style), bacon, a small smoothie, fresh squeezed juice, and a choice of coffee, tea, or liquid chocolate. Amazing. All that with a view of the pitons and relaxed but attentive service. Our favorites for lunch and dinner were the burger (on a bun shaped like a cocoa pod) and the portobello mushroom risotto. The seafood soup was also incredible. I wish I could eat there all the time!!

The only excursion we did was the Gros Piton climb, which was exhausting, but great! They packed us a hearty breakfast (bacon, tomato, and cheese on fresh bread, watermelon and apples, banana/chocolate bread) with water, and provided a shuttle to and from the mountain and guides. Word to the wise - it is a challenging hike! You basically go straight up the side of the mountain - it's like a stairmaster 90% of the time. Great workout and beautiful views, but definitely challenging. After that, we were lazy and spent the next three days laying by the pool, reading, and eating. I also had a massage at the spa, which was also a beautiful facility, located between the regular lodges and the luxe lodges.

I have already recommended the Hotel Chocolat to my friends, and strongly recommend it to anyone else visiting St. Lucia and looking for something unique. We were there four nights, which felt like the right amount of time for us. Anything less than 3 nights would have been too short.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Funfetti624
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Judy B, Head of Guest Relations at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, responded to this reviewResponded 27 December 2012

Really appreciate your detailed review after a stay in one of our Lodges, and that you noticed all our little touches and design detail. Much respect for climbing the Gros Piton.

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Reviewed 20 November 2012

My wife and I have just come back from our honeymoon staying here at Hotel Chocolat. What can I say, the whole experience was amazing and we couldn't have dreamed of a more perfect 6 nights. Here's a breakdown of the highlights of our stay / the hotel in general (in no particular order):

1) The restaurant
Words cannot describe how good the food is at this hotel. As part of our package, we were lucky and privileged enough to experience breakfast, lunch and dinner each and every day of our stay. For each meal, the menus are beautifully crafted and the choice is perfect. A great balance between not too much choice, not too little. The presentation is incredible as well, each plate is immaculately constructed and your dish truly looks like a work of art. The ingredients are also so fresh that each dish you have feels very healthy. As for the chocolate influence, what a great twist in the taste of the food!! Note, the chocolate is extremely subtle, sometimes not noticeable at all, but it really does elevate the food to a world class standard. The best way I can describe the restaurant experience would be to say it is the equivalent to going to a 5 star / Michelin rated restaurant in NYC (our home area) for all of your meals for a week.
Another part of our package included a private candlelit dinner around the infinity pool one night. What a great experience that was!! We had our date exactly a week after we got married and it was a perfect way to celebrate and take in everything that had taken place over the past couple of weeks before and after the big day. The fact that the meal was one of the best I've ever had made it even more special. A special mention to the maitre d', Didier and waitress Esna is in order for making this evening one of the best of our stay.

2) The room
We were lucky enough to stay in one of the luxury loges as part of the Just Married package. The room was spacious and constructed to the highest standard, built in the optimum location to provide simply stunning views of the Petit Piton and the surrounding areas. The balcony area and the day beds provide a great area to sit and relax watching the sun both rise and set each day.
The bathroom was also extremely spacious with the greatest shower you can wish to experience. The complimentary toiletries were also of the highest standard.
We were also provided with our own ipod and docking station, which although a simple idea is very unique and was a great little touch throughout our stay. As for no TV - this would be a wasted commodity considering the rooms views and surrounding areas to explore. I applaud the hotels' coordinators for recognizing this.
The room was spotlessly cleaned every day making it a great place to unwind and end each day.

3) The pool area
This was one of the biggest highlights of our stay. The pool area was the perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon watching the sun slowly fall around the Petit Piton. The area never got over crowded and often we felt as if we had the whole hotel, even island!! to ourselves. Absolutely perfect.
As for the infinity pool itself - stunning. Rare to say this but the pictures online / in brochures do not do it justice. The reflection it creates of the Piton each day is proof in itself that the thought and design that went into constructing this pool is nothing short of world class.

4) The staff
This hotel has a fantastic workforce throughout. Each and every member of staff was extremely helpful, kind and always had a smile on their faces. It is clear that working at Hotel Chocolat is an enjoyable experience for all staff members. Each day,we both felt extremely welcome at the hotel.

5) The location
The location of this hotel is fantastic. It is effectively in the middle of a cocoa plantation and rainforest (therefore, people shouldn't moan about the odd rain shower here and there!!) and also halfway up a small mountain.
In the immediate surroundings of the hotel, there are a number of walking trails that guests can take on their own that lead to various locations of the immediate area. The Big Nature trail is highly recommended; after a 5/10 minute walk up a fairly steep hill, you are rewarded with breathtaking vistas of the 2 Pitons.
A walk to the sulphur springs and mud bath route is also worth doing, the mud bath is an especially fun experience. However, please be warned that if you walk to the springs and back to the hotel, be warned the road back is pretty long and steep (an alternative is to complete the recommended loop that bypasses the steep return hill). Still, once you get back to the hotel those crisp Piton beers will taste even better!!
Not only are you within a 10 minute drive of some of the highest areas of Soufriere, you are also within a 10 minute drive to the beach at the Jalousie resort. A day at the beach is well worth doing as the area is stunning and the waters crystal clear. Being upclose and personal to the Pitons is also not to be sniffed at. However, after spending 4 or 5 hours at the resort, it will make you appreciate the location of Hotel Chocolat that much more because aside from sitting on the beach, the alternative options are few and far between. At Hotel Chocolat, there are always many things to keep you active and occupied if you do not fancy a lazy day around the pool.

6) Planned trips and excursions
The Hotel offers a great range of trips at pretty reasonable prices. We did a total of 3.
Tree to bean/Bean to Bar experience - Highly recommend to everyone who stays at the hotel. The tree to bean is an extensive tour of the cocoa plantation within the grounds of the hotel. The tour guide, Cuthbert is a highly knowledgeable expert in his field and his enthusiasm for his work really rubs off on his audience. The tour is very interesting as it gives a great overview of what it takes to grow and harvest cocoa, and at the same time it is very interactive. Each guest gets to harvest (pick) their own cocoa pod and also you get to cultivate your own cocoa tree. We look forward to going back to the plantation in 3 or 4 years time to see how our tree is doing!!
Once you have done the tree to bean tour, the bean to bar experience is a great way to see how all the efforts in the previous trip are incorporated into the manufacturing of the humble chocolate bar. During this experience, you start with 3 basic ingredients - cocoa nibs,sugar and cocoa butter. After 50 minutes or so of grinding (pretty tough work but certainly makes you appreciate what it takes to make chocolate) you pour your now liquid ingredients into a mold ready to be set into your own chocolate bar. This was a very unique experience and the tour leader, Chef Ron, made the process fun with his interactive questions and anecdotes but also informative with a brief history in chocolate.
Tet Paul Nature Trail / Piton Falls - This is a far less strenuous option (compared to hiking the Gros Piton) of seeing Soufriere from up on high. However, when you reach the summit of the Tet Paul Nature trail you are rewarded (yet again) with stunning views of the region that will take your breath away. You can even see St Martin on a sunny day.
Once the Tet Paul trail is done, you then go to the Piton Falls which is a great way to relax and freshen up. Again, the scenery is beautiful. Our cab driver (provided by the hotel) also acted as our private tour guide and was extremely informative and friendly.
The Sunset Cruise - This was part of our Just Married package. If you are not on this package, then I say this trip is an absolute must. The 90 minute or so boat ride will give you some of the most spectacular sunset views you'll ever see and looking back at the bay and mountain regions is phenomenal. If you are lucky, as we were, you may even have a school of dolphins swim by your boat. With all these factors, along with the complimentary canapes and drinks, this was one of the best experiences of my life.

Conclusions - If you are looking for the perfect honeymoon, then look no further than Hotel Chocolat,you will not be disappointed.. From the minute we arrived to the minute we left, we were treated like VIPs. Everything about the hotel is luxurious without being too 'in your face.' We will be more than willing to save up our money and come back to this gem in the next 3 or 4 years time. We hope the hotel goes from strength to strength and we thank the staff for welcoming us so warmly.

Tom and Cheryl

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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14  Thank Tom B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Judy B, Head of Guest Relations at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, responded to this reviewResponded 27 December 2012

Makes it all worth it with a review like this! The team were delighted that you noticed so many parts of our overall experience. Please do come back and see us again and best wishes in your married life together in the meantime.

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Reviewed 15 November 2012

My husband and I stayed at Boucan by Hotel Chocolate the last three nights of our honeymoon after spending a week on the beach at the Jalousie Plantation. We arrived around lunch and was welcomed with a welcome drink while they made up our room. We received an upgrade to a Lux Lodge due to the coupon from TripAdvisor (thank you!). Our room was simply stunning with a wonderful view of Petitie Piton and the ocean in the distance. I loved the modern and minimalist decor in the room and the open rainforest shower was the coolest shower I have ever seen. We were welcomed with a complimentary bottle of prosecco from the hotel manager Chester, as well as a second bottle of prosecco from my parents with a chocolate plate and beautiful flower arrangement (thanks mom and dad!). The ipod in the room loaded with relaxing songs was also a huge plus, and the complimentary run punch, cookies, nuts and chocolate was also a welcome treat.

The pool at Boucan is a beautiful black infinity pool with a view of Petite Piton. We basically had the pool to ourselves during our stay and it was quite a relaxing place. If you didn't realize already, the hotel is on a working cacao plantation and most of the food at the restaurant includes cacao in some way. I also very much enjoyed the fact that the hotel had their own prosecco and house wine that was all very good. The food at Boucan was phenominal. The breakfasts (included with our stay) were outrageous and included an amazing fruit tray, homemade toast or muffins (with cacao butter and smudge-chocolate/hazelnut spread), and a hot egg dish. Lunch and dinner was equally amazing. I have never eaten so much wonderful food in my life.

We did several tours through the hotel. They arranged for our ziplining trip that was a fun but quick excursion. We also did the "Tree to Bean" and "Bean to Bar". The tree to bean tour was very informative and we learned a ton about the Rabot Estate and chocolate making. Our guide (I apologize for forgetting his name) was wonderful and offered to take many pictures of us with the cacao pods, harvesting cacao pods, drinking coconut water from the cocunuts his workers cut up for us and grafting our own cacao tree. We can't wait to go back to see our tree and that it is producing fruit! The "Bean to Bar" tour was also interesting (and hard work) and we grounds cacao nibs and made our own chocolate bars. Out of the two different parts of the tour, the Tree to Beach was more interesting, but it was fun to make our own chocolate too.

We had a wonderful stay at Hotel Chocolat, but do have a few constructive criticisms. The temperature in our room was quite warm and there is no air conditioning. Although there is a ceiling fan, it did not cool the room well at all which made it somewhate difficult for me to sleep. The warmness of the room, however, is in exchange for the beautiful view you receive waking up in the morning. The other comment I have is that the staff seemed somewhat scared of us. They were very polite, but seemed very timid. We did have some confusion with certainof our bills but the issues were quickly resolved. Also, we tried to go on one of the advertised walks of the estate and the person working the front desk could not give us directions and said most of the trails were not walkable at that time. Finally, the hotel's boat was out of commission during our stay. We had been looking forward to taking the snorkeling or sunset cruise and were disappointed that we did not get to do so. Despite these few issues, we had an amazing stay and I highly recommend Hotel Chocolat.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank KristenUW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Judy B, Head of Customer Relations at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2012

So glad you enjoyed your honeymoon and thanks for your comprehensive and uplifting review.

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Reviewed 7 November 2012

I loved every minute of my stay at Hotel Chocolat! The stunning views of Petit Piton, the luxurious accommodation, the friendly and helpful staff, the delicious food.....every detail was perfect. On the night of my birthday, we were given a private table down by the pool that made the celebration extra special - and I was even treated to a "Happy Birthday" serenade! Standards at this hotel are exceptionally high - it's definitely not a budget option but the whole experience more than justifies the cost. I've started saving up to come back as soon as possible!!

Room Tip: There is a large water feature in the centre of the guest accommodation area - if you're a light sleeper, it's best to avoid the pods right behind. The pods to the side are quieter but not so shaded by the trees and may be hotter during the day.
  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Puffin_Whisperer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Judy B, Head of Customer Relations at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2012

We would love to have you back and delighted you enjoyed the Private Dining at Club Boucan for your birthday

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Reviewed 29 October 2012

My son was married here this past weekend and everything exceeded our expectations. The hotel is beautiful, the food is first class,the staff is wonderful, and the scenery is spectacular. We would recommend this resort to everyone who wants to have the ultimate experience.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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5  Thank 09876eat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Judy B, Head of Customer Relations at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, responded to this reviewResponded 5 November 2012

Loved having you all to stay and thanks so very much for this lovely review.

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