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“Did not meet my very high expectations”

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Boucan by Hotel Chocolat
Ranked #7 of 11 Hotels in Soufriere
Certificate of Excellence
England
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Did not meet my very high expectations”
Reviewed 6 March 2014

Firstly the positives
- CUTHBERT the passionate guide to the cocoa trees is superb
- The luxury rooms are lovely
- The estate is really nice to walk through
- The views are superb

Negatives
- We stayed a week and the lunch and dinner menu never changed. The menu is limited and several of the items were off all week. There is not even a changing dish of the day. In speaking to one of the waiters it is apparent that menus are determined by London and the chefs have no flexibility to change the menu. Other than taking a taxi ( expensive especially as in practice you end up paying for waiting time ) there was only one other restaurant in walking distance namely Ladera which served better food, more professionaly served AND WITH A MENU THAT CHANGED EVERY THREE DAYS WITH SPECIALS CHANGING DAILY. For a long stay we found the restaurant boring and predictable and also when it rained cold as it is open to the elements on four sides. Nevertheless we thought the salads were of the highest standard and artistically put together and the chefs certainly knew how to cook.

- The attention to detail was not brilliant. Food sat on the pass whilst awaiting the accompanying diner's meal ( I twice had to send food back because it was cold), plates are not warmed, restaurant staff have to be asked for cuttlery. cups etc. At the pool the mattresses were not always taken in when it rained and the mattresses slid off the recliners ( a simple tie would stop this)

- We thought the beach would be easily accessible by the advertised shuttle. The shuttle is chargeable ( £15 per person per day) and only runs once a day to the beach and once back. We expected a shuttle to run say hourly. In that the weather was not wonderful during our stay a beach shuttle needs more flexibility as you do not want to be on a beach waiting for the shuttle in the pouring rain!. We once walked to the beach ( very strenous hilly and super walk which took about 90 minutes, had a great lunch and then took a taxi back which was very expensive. The beach charge for recliners and umbrellas is hugely expensive. There is a free but small public area of the beach but this became overcrowded with boat tours

- The view of the Pittons from our lux room was fabulous but you cannot see the sea from the estate ( unlike the hotel opposite where the view at lunchtime from the restaurant was brilliant)

- The spa was not used by anyone we could see during our stay and was unappetising and unmanned whenever we visited. Very disappointing

- Bananas. Saint Lucia's second biggest export is bananas. The fresh bananas are fabulous. There are banana groves surrounding the hotel, the market in Souffriere always had bananas. Sainsburys has Saint Lucia bananas but Hotel Chocolat ran out of bananas on two consecutive days for breakfast. ( They also ran out of bacon for breakfast on one of those days! ) Another example of poor local management.or central purchasing.

In summary I only just gave four stars to the place but because of Cuthbert the guide, the salad maker, the stunning views, the smiles and the really nice lux room it was still very good but I would not go back.

m

Room Tip: The lux rooms are far far better
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank max4321
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 review, 10 April 2014
We have read and discussed your constructive feedback, for which we thank you. We certainly want to continue to improve and appreciate your notes.
Our new boat, which is now commissioned and in full service, is intended to make beach time a smooth and relaxing experience, whatever the weather. Please do come back and give it a try.
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483 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (139)
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English first
Davisburg, Michigan
1 review
Reviewed 3 March 2014

As part of a wedding party at the Boucan we experienced the best of the best! Our room (Lux Lodge) was absolutely gorgeous but more than that - calming. There was a gorgeous view on our deck that was separated by a folding screen - like something out of a magazine! The room was spacious and the bathroom with the indoor/outdoor rain forest shower was something you could hardly imagine. We were never bothered by the sounds of the insects, birds etc. and in fact it was very comforting.
The food was unique and really delicious. I thought I might be tired of chocolate but that never did happen.
We found our favorite transportation mode was the water taxi. Roads are a little crazy on St. Lucia but taking a trip via the water taxi to Castries was awesome!
The guest services coordinator, Judy, was one of the most genuine people we have met. She and her staff were amazing and brought to us a sense that everything would be perfect - and it was! She is truly a gem of the hotel!
All activities were fun and informative. We never found a guide or taxi driver that did not go out of their way to make sure we had any information we needed and also continually gave us interesting facts and history of the island.
Children are not usually at the hotel but because our group had the whole hotel they were welcome and had a really good time with the activities facilitated by the hotel!
The views are amazing, but different depending on where you are on the island. All considered St. Lucia is a great place to visit and a fantastic place for a wedding when using the Boucan Hotel Chocolate!

Room Tip: The Luxe Lodges have the best view.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hshepard
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 review, 10 April 2014
Many thanks
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
Reviewed 1 March 2014 via mobile

All I can say is thank you Phil, Judy and staff for making our wedding a family event that will be cherished for a life time.

The food is exceptional, the resort is one of a kind, and the people treat you like family. I couldn't ask for more. ... Also, I wish I had Cuthbert as my science teacher in school. He has the uncanny ability of making botany and agriculture fun. The tree to bean/bean to bar tours are not to be missed.

If you are planning a trip to St Lucia, do yourself a favor and make the Boucan one of your stops. You won't be disappointed. It's peaceful and serene ... and delicious!!

I intend to make the Boucan my new second home in paradise!! See you soon Phil and Judy. The next gin and tonic is on me. Cheers!!

Stayed February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Matt D
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 review, 10 April 2014
What a recommendation! Sincere thanks.
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1 review
Reviewed 27 February 2014 via mobile

I was fortunate to get married on the ridge at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat. The breathtaking views were nothing short of miraculous. The island is a beautiful stunner and this resort was the perfect fit for it.

The lodges are nestled clear into the landscape. They are beautiful, comfortable and so inviting I could have stayed for weeks. If you want something that is private and upscale, this is your place. From chocolate, nuts and delicious cookies left in your room to the gigantic open air rain showers, to huge beds with soft sheets and grand pillows, this place has it all.

The food is incredible and the flavors of subtle cocoa, and bright hints of citrus and light curries will NOT leave you hungry. Many people rave about the food and they are so right. It's perfect. I never got bored as the menu was full of options. In fact, I wanted to try more! The Chocolate Balsamic dipping sauce... to die for. The Pork Tenderloin, maybe the best I've ever had. The Beef Filet, you could cut it with a fork. Oh my! Don't even get me started on the desserts and chocolate daiquiris!!

We had children with us and had booked the entire property for our wedding and they had plenty to do and loved the food. They have a shuttle that runs to a beach very close by, and an entire afternoon was spent snorkeling and swimming in the most beautiful, clean waters you may ever see. The Tree to Bean/Bean to Bar tour was facilitated by the most knowledgeable and passionate man who had an uncanny ability to draw people in and infuse them with his passion. We also did the Tet-Paul Trail which was a highlight. This nature trail will wind you up through exotic plants, fruits and landscapes. You will get such beautiful views of the Pitons, you may never want to leave.

My wedding was a dream come true, my stay at this resort has left an impression on my heart that will last forever. However, I have to say that one main reason for it being so perfect was Phil, Judy and the entire staff. From the moment we arrived there was no detail overlooked or request denied. I have never felt so taken care of and respected, or so much a part of a family on any vacation as I had here with the people of The Boucan. Their customer service and large hearts are exemplary. Nothing here is forced. It all comes from a genuine love and passion for seeing a job well done!

Matthew and I WILL be back. Without a doubt this is the vacation (and wedding!) that exceeded my every expectation. Thank you so very much!!!

Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Jennifer S
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 review, 10 April 2014
It was our honour and privilege to host your special day and to meet you friends and family.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Angers
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2014

This was a very nice surprise during our trip in Saint Lucia.
We had a cocoa lunch, everything was made of cocoa even the pesto and the butter.
The food was great and different.

The only improvement that could have been made was on the dessert. it was very simple and chocolate could have offered so much more but it will certainly be for the next time we go there...

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jean-Philippe C
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 review, 10 April 2014
Much appreciated
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2014

Architecturally beautiful hotel - love that there are a small number of rooms. Everything is pared back, unfussy in style, yet luxurious. I like that it seems to fit into the landscape authentically rather than dominate it like a brash 'resort' would.
Food is amazing and whilst I usually come back from hotels several pounds heavier, the cuisine is light, extremely tasty, you could even say healthy. Especially the breakfasts. We tried dinner at a number of other restaurants / hotels but nothing compared.
The hotel feels generous in that it provides unlimited free bottled water, free laundry (!!), towels and Ren toiletries. Complimentary fizz x 2, rum punch, daily biscuits & chocolate all add to the generous feeling. The showers in the luxe lodges are amazing.
The chocolate estate tour run by Cuthbert, a real character is educational and really enjoyable, you get to plant your own cocoa tree and make your own chocolate. And understand a bit about sustainable, ethical production.
My only negatives are 1) the location - Ladera steals it for the sea view ( but thats the only thing that is better) and b) the pool, which was freezing and didn't look 100% clean. All in all though I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. But hire a car for a few days - taxis end up expensive!

Room Tip: Luxe lodges - worth it for the privacy & veranda.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Carolyn D
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 review, 10 April 2014
Generosity is a feeling which makes the welcome genuine. Really appreciate your lovely and insightful review
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York, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2014

Believe all the reviews .
Total quality
The staff were extremely helpful especially Adriana . The staff were the happiest people we came across on the island ...it was so nice to see
Book it !!

Only slight reservation ... you might get over-dosed on taste of chocolate ...yes ladies it is possible

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mikeoutandabout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Judy B, Head fo Guest Relations at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, responded to this review, 25 February 2014
We liked your description 'total quality' but loved 'happiest'. Very kind review, thank you
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Additional Information about Boucan by Hotel Chocolat

Property: Boucan by Hotel Chocolat
Address: Rabot Estate | P.O. Box 312, Soufriere, St. Lucia
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Soufriere Quarter > Soufriere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Soufriere
#5 Family Hotel in Soufriere
#6 Romantic Hotel in Soufriere
#6 Luxury Hotel in Soufriere
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Boucan by Hotel Chocolat 4.5*
Number of rooms: 14
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

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