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
- 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.
- 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