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“Honeymoon Bliss”

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Boucan by Hotel Chocolat
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Soufriere
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Honeymoon Bliss”
Reviewed 2 June 2014

My husband and I just returned from a week-long honeymoon at Boucan.

We very much enjoyed ourselves, and loved the solitude and quiet of the hotel. There are only 14 lodges, and they are all separate, which meant that you had 28 possible people staying at the hotel at one time.

We booked the honeymoon package, which included upgrade to Luxe Lodge, travel to & from airport, 2 massages, a sunset cruise, full board at the restaurant, $50 beverage credit daily, breakfast in bed the first day, bottle of bubbly in the room at arrival, and a private dinner by the pool one night.

We did a lot of things last week, so I thought I'd go through the pros and cons of each.

Lodging: Luxe Lodge
Pros: Beautiful views, nice shower, porch for relaxing privately, open air, so the breeze cooled off quite a bit in the evening. I loved the cookies each day.
Cons: The late afternoon sun really warmed up the room, and the fan isn't very strong, so we learned to close the room off from the porch around 2 pm and leave it closed until after the sun set, which mitigated some of the heat. Again, they're open air, and there are about 3 feet between lodges. There were quite a few honeymooners, and sound tended to carry.

Food/Board:
Pros: Wow, what a breakfast! I loved the fruit medley, yogurt smoothie, and daily juice each day. I tended to go a bit lighter by the end of the week by not having the bacon, yogurt, or the porridge, but still having eggs, toast, and those delightful banana/chocolate muffins. The breakfast definitely set you up for the day.
Lunch was always good. By the end of the week, even though we were on full board, I was only ordering one course since there's so much food!
Dinner was great every evening. The amuse bouche and palate cleansing sorbet were a wonderful touch!
Cons: Sometimes, I did wish that there were some options without chocolate, as I was becoming a bit choco-ed out.There are some options that are fresher, like the tuna & dorado tartare that I would suggest when you're feeling a bit fatigued.

Services: Spa & concierge
Pros: The massage & mani-pedi I got at the beginning of the week were great. The manicure is still going strong, and I'm very hard on my nails. My husband liked his massage so much that he booked a second one before we left. The front desk was able to help with booking taxis and making other restaurant reservations (which we had two nights since we were off full board for 2 of the 7 days).
Cons: We had a mix-up on a taxi we'd scheduled the night before we left to go to a restaurant. Another couple had made the same plans, then cancelled, and our plans accidentally got cancelled as well. There were also some things that I was surprised the front desk didn't have on hand, like a small store of essentials since the pharmacy was not nearby. There was no way to get sunscreen or minor medical remedies like pepto or antacids. So if you think you might need it while you're there, bring more than necessary, because you might not be able to get to Soufriere while the shops are open.

Experiences: Beach & Excursions
Pros: The ability to go to Sugar Beach was great. We went down 2 days and rented loungers for $50 a pop from the Viceroy. There are some free ones, but we were there for our honeymoon and the loungers are worth it for the view, umbrella, and service. We also really enjoyed the zipline tour that's just down the road. The food sent on the Underwater Explorer was very tasty. I enjoyed it. The Tree to Bean & Bean to Bar experiences were GREAT! I loved learning so much about the way that cocoa is grown and how chocolate is made. One of my favorite experiences of the week!
Cons: We had scheduled the Underwater Explorer for the Tuesday we were there, and we only found out that we were taking the water taxi all day when we got down to Soufriere to shuttle the beachgoers to Sugar Beach and then go off to a few different snorkeling locations. Apparently the Boucannier was in dry dock being fixed, so they replaced it with a small water taxi with benches. Color me not-impressed. I would have requested to use an outside vendor if I'd have known. The snorkeling was good, and it was nice to see the different Anse on the coast, but it was my first time snorkeling, and there wasn't much instruction on what fish to expect and what the different coral looked like. Since I'd seen that the larger Boucannier II boat was in port, I expected the group of 4 couples to take that on the Sunset Cruise on Thursday, so I took a note from the description and wore a dress. Nope. Water Taxi. I got soaked, the boat rocked in the wind and waves, and we were all cramped. Again, I was rather disappointed, but I tried really hard to hide my disappointment from the other couples and just enjoy what I could and soak in the views, but I felt like it was a waste of time and money, and it put me in a bad mood that I really didn't want to be on on my honeymoon. So take a note from me and be sure to confirm what vessel you'll be on BEFORE you book your water excursions, and if it's not going to be the Boucannier, book independently through another provider. It's not worth the disappointment when you're on a vacation that you've looked forward to for 9 months to be on a tiny water taxi.

Pool:
Pros: Gorgeous views, cool water, board & tabletop games, books, and a mix of shaded and full-sun lounging.
Cons: Service at the bar downstairs is spotty, especially in the mid-afternoon. If you want something to drink, you'd be better to go upstairs and order from the main bar.

Summary: All in all, it was a great vacation, and beautiful hotel with a delicious restaurant, but I was disappointed in a few service aspects. If we'd have been just lodging, and arranged meals and excursions on our own, I probably would have given it more stars.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Katie M
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, 14 July 2014
Thanks for your kind words and we have certainly taken note of the points that you have made.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (135)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Lake Ridge, Virginia
Level Contributor
66 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2014

We were staying at a nearby resort and they recommended Hotel Chocolate as a nice romantic option for us, which we definitely found it to be. They also advised that we would absolutely, positively HAVE to have reservations as this is a popular place. This seems to be pretty well known in the area, but I saw several online reviews bemoaning that they showed up unannounced with a large group and could not be accommodated... If you just make reservations you will be fine, we even showed up early for ours and they seated us right away.

It does seem to be on many peoples list of places to go, so you might want to make reservations through your hotel/resort before you arrive in St. Lucia to make sure you can get a table on the desired time and date. The night we had originally intended to go was fully booked two days out.

Probably partly because the place is not packed wall to wall, it was very chic, enjoyable and romantic. Our food was very good, and I think they did a creative job of incorporating chocolate into almost every dish. The staff was nice, the food was fresh and everything was very well done.

The menu is pretty pricey for St. Lucia, but comparable places I have been in the US would cost about double, so it is really relative. By the time I left, I felt like I was going to fall into a sugar coma, so although this was a great experience I would probably not eat there multiple times on a trip. It was a very cool place, though, and I am glad we got to experience eating there.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank A_Tropical_Snowstorm
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, 14 July 2014
Glad you enjoyed and, yes, reservations essential please
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liverpool
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2014 via mobile

The food was fabulous .... It easily equaled the good st the Laderra where we stayed . Location was perfect and views to for for. .... The restaurant was beautifully laid out but the servicd could have been better

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank carol_ann_price
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, 14 July 2014
Thanks.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South England
Level Contributor
59 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

We just spent a wonderful 4 days at Hotel Chocolat. This is our second visit. 2 years ago we did the 'Bean to bar' tour and grafted 2 cocoa trees. This time we saw where they had been planted, They were 3 times bigger and might even produce their first cocoa pods next year?
We manged the whole of the walk via the Old French Road. It took us 90 minutes.
We also enjoyed the sunset cruise and snorkeling at 3 locations. The food was excellent again and if you want a lighter pudding would recommend the choc ice. My favourite was the Creme Brulee, others were great such as the gazpacho, risotto, beef, chicken, panna cotta and the story of chocolate.
Looking at the view whilst swimming in the pool was like a dream.
If you're looking for something different from the usual hotel and don't expect air conditioning this is a great place to be. We didn't find it too hot but early May is definitely hotter than the last time we went in February.

Room Tip: We recommend lodges 7-11 for the best view.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Cherry2548
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, 14 July 2014
Wonderful that you were able to see the cocoa trees you planted on your last visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 May 2014

This hotel has long been on our bucket list , so to go in January was an amazing experience,from the beautiful food and stunning views over the pitons from the restaurant, breathtaking ! The staff couldn't do enough for us ,it really is a travelling connoisseurs hotel ,sitting in the lodges at night listening to the night birds with just the lodges shutters against the night Sky sipping a glass of complimentary rum punch,delicious.it really makes you feel at one with nature ,especially when the local birds sneak in to nibble any crumbs of your complimentary cookies ! Butterflies in the outdoor shower too.be prepared for cartoon like showers that go as quickly as they arrive.please please don't over develop this piece of heaven and make it too big as it would truly spoil it.

Room Tip: None of the lodges will escape the night birds or heavy showers in the night ,it's like being on...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TanyaP17
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, 14 July 2014
'Makes you feel at one with nature' - you captured perfectly what we set out to do.
Look forward to your return visit!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
55 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 2014 via mobile

My review is very much overdue, as I stayed in Jan/Feb 2014. This has been brought sharply into focus by the contrast between Hotel Chocolat and where I am staying now. This place could surely learn some lessons from HC. Both hotels have young staff, but at HC the staff are unfailingly helpful, attentive and cheerful. They have clearly been well trained. In fact, everyone I met was the same, from the taxi drivers to the guys who sail you to the beach who took time out to cal me up to see the dolphins.

But first, the rooms. Really well appointed. They provide some mozzy spray, though I didn't need it. Nice to have a sitting area and the drinks and biscuits were very welcome, as were the toiletries. Just be careful not to leave any food out as the birds will nab it. They bring fresh milk and ice every day. Nice touch.

Excellent breakfast, though if don't understand chocolate butter with my toast! I was less impressed with the evening meals, though I understand they are well known for them. I also never get why everything had to be served on a slate. Whats wrong with a plate? But these are minor issues.

I enjoyed the small beach in front of the Sugar Beach hotel - my how the other half live! I tended to go to the far end to avoid the cruise ship visitors who disembark and re-embark with alarming regularity. As the security guard tends to hang out at this end of the beach your belongings are quite safe. Anyway, everyone using the beach had more money than me!

One day I tried the Jade Mountain beach for a change. It was much quieter than Sugar Beach. I believe they discourage visitors by making the road to the hotel shockingly bad. But it was nice to try out a difference place. If you go, be aware the sand gets boiling in the afternoon. I had to hop from shaded area to shaded area.

My only really down was the weather, which was much wetter than I was expecting, but you can't hold the hotel responsible for that.

Stayed January 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
4 Thank DameMeditation
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, 14 July 2014
Thank you and really appreciate your comments
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2014

We have just returned from a week in St Lucia - the first half at the Sugar Beach Hotel; the second half at the Hotel Boucan. The Boucan knocked the socks off the Sugar Beach on all fronts (except beach access/frontage). The Boucan is truly wonderful - beautiful lodges, great food, friendly staff, great outlook, fab cocktails..... With the development of the cocoa estate, it also has a real purpose and I would definitely recommend the Tree to Bean/Bean to Bar tour with Cuthbert. Lots to do - we climbed the Gros Piton, walked to the Sulphur springs and did the Sundowner cruise (we lucked out and it was just me and my Partner on the cruise - so essentially a private cruise with bubbly). One evening my partner and I went out for a walk and came across Judy and Phil (responsible for the Boucan) and were invited in for drinks and some background on the history of the estate, the company and the Hotel. We really appreciated this. Overall, the quality and standard was very high and we found it of a higher quality and much better value for money than the Sugar Beach (which we found over-priced for what was offered). Lots of lovely touches too like welcome cocktails, bubbly, free laundry service, endless supply of mineral water, REN products etc. My other half and I were so impressed by what they have done here - it is well worth a visit.

Room Tip: If you are willing to spend a bit more, the Luxe Lodges are wonderful.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ClareKennedy
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, 14 July 2014
Well, we would agree too! We do try our hardest and lovely to have it appreciated, huge thanks.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Soufriere
#3 Luxury Hotel in Soufriere
#5 Family Hotel in Soufriere
#6 Romantic 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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