Boucan by Hotel Chocolat
What We Love
- 2015 Jetsetter Hotel Food Award Winner
- Cocoa-infused spa treatments at the Cocoa Juvenate Spa; don’t miss the Cocoa Reflexology, with roast cacao–infused oil
- Sleek, view-heavy infinity pool with a black quartz lining that perfectly reflects the breathtaking Piton mountains
- In the “Tree to Bar” experience, you’ll learn the ins and outs of chocolate making, plus score some bars to take home
What To Know
- The constant breeze at the hotel’s high elevation keeps things cool sans AC
- The hotel isn’t beachfront; a free shuttle leaves once daily to local beaches
- There are WiFi, preloaded iPods and docking stations in each lodge (but no television)
- The hotel is right off a main road
- The drive from the airport is quite steep and winding — if you're a nervous driver, it'd be best to book a car
- Children 12 and under are not permitted
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
On the grounds of St. Lucia’s oldest cocoa plantation (established circa 1745), this hotel unassumingly blends into its rain forest surroundings as a tiered enclave of 14 modernist, plantation-chic cottages and an open-air, industrial-inspired restaurant and pool club. Minimalist style and principally employing hardwoods channels attention toward the ubiquitous vistas of the iconic Pitons. Within each of the 14 lodges, a sheer curtain billows over the romantic four-poster bed, which is framed by stark white wooden walls and complemented by hand-crafted dark wood furnishings. The seductive bathrooms almost steal the show, each one oversize with double sinks and an open-air rainfall shower enveloped in beige river rock. It’s all about the haute chocolate experience at Boucan. Treatments at the Cocoa Juvenate Spa underscore the healing powers of chocolate. At the foodie haven restaurant, chocolate is the backbone of each masterful dish and drink; a dinner may feature cacao nib and peanut infused chicken satay or cacao butter roasted seasonal fish, not to mention artisanal cocktails muddled with the fruit that surrounds raw cacao beans. The “Tree to Bar” experience is essential to any Boucan stay: You harvest your own pods, dry the beans and make your own chocolate with pestle and mortar. Expect the room attendant to deliver various handmade chocolate treats daily.
In the Area
St. Lucia is a very large island, but thankfully the best sights are found in the beauty-rich south, close to Boucan. Amble through the splendors of the rain forest and the island’s renowned botanical gardens at Diamond Falls, and later swim under the 17-foot falls itself. Dare to submerge in the ultimate mud bath, the sulfuric pools of Sulphur Springs Park. Walk over to the neighboring hotel, Ladera, and feast on contemporary interpretations of traditional St. Lucian dishes — think roast conch with pickled vegetables in a yam basket — at the hotel’s restaurant, Dasheene.
How to Get There
We accidently came across this hotel while on St Lucia and I had to have lunch there as I am a chocoholic! Everything was great about the experience. The view of the Pitons from the restaurant was lovely, the atmosphere was upscale but pleasant and friendly and the food and drink were amazing! They started off with free homemade bread with cacao nibs and three sauces to dip it in, scrumptious! I had a Turbo Bailey's drink with Bailey's, rum and cocoa and loved it. The fish and chips I had were very tasty and cooked well and the dessert we had was great, they all sounded amazing. Every dish has chocolate in it somehow, although you can't necessarily taste it in the fish batter for example. It was a perfect experience for someone like me and it would be fun to stay there as well, but probably pricey. I bought their cookbook and hope to try some recipes soon. They have a website that has much more chocolate for sale than they have at the restaurant, I think a wider array of chocolate related items on site would sell well. I would love to go back!
We stay in Hotel Chocolate for 4 nights. The lux room has a breath taking view and it was unique experience to wake up with Piton view in the middle of the jungle.
There are plenty of activities around. We went to the Gros Piton Hike. It was 20mins drive from the hotel and early pickup at 6.45am. The hike was 2hrs up and 1hr down, quite a walk. The sulphur spring was 20mins walk from the hotel. It would be better to go there early before the large crowds arrive. For the beach, the hotel help us to arrange free return trips to Anse Chastanet in the afternoon. Our favourite however, is the walk around the estate before dinner time. July is the season for mangos. The mangos left on the street are even more tasty than the one selling in any supermarket in London.
For the food, all the dishes we tried in the restaurant were delicious, the mahi-mahi fish, ribeye steak, chicken curry. My favourite is the lava cake dessert! Definitely will be missed even years after.
All the staff members were very friendly and they help us to arrange a very romantic private dinner for our honeymoon.
Booked a table for dinner, we had a good table with a nice view of the Pitons as the sun set.
The staff seemed a bit grumpy to begin with but they seemed to warm up to us eventually. The menu is quite impressive and each dish contains chocolate which was one of the reasons I wanted to come and eat here.
We had scallops (tasty but small) and the pulled pork (huge but very tatsy) for starter, we both enjoyed these dishes but my OH did have to help me eat most of mine. For main course I had the Market Fish Fricassé which was very tasty but by this point everything was starting to be very rich and sweet so I could not finish it. The OH went for Beef Fillet, the steak itself was very tender and tasty but again it was just very sweet with carrot/ pumpkin and chocolate gravy. We did have a taste of the white chocolate mash, it was good but too sweet after everything else we ate.
Having said that the food was too rich we could not leave Hotel Chocolat without having dessert so we shared a Mousse au Chocolat and had an espresso (amazing coffee!), because the chocolate was so dark this was actually a good end to the meal.
There was a saxaphone player on the evening we went, he was brilliant but when one of the waiters started to sing along that song was not so good ;)
We did find the payment process very strange and I would warn you to keep an eye out for this - they took the card from or table for payment then beckoned my OH over for his pin number. One of the waiters then took his card and started copying the details into an ancient computer, they even asked for the pin number - I have never had this before and of course my OH just said no and took his card back straight away. This was a strange end to the meal and did kind of take the shine off the evening a little bit.
My adult son and I stayed a couple nights at Ladera last month and I was very eager to try Boucan's bean-to-table cacao-based menu, so we had a light lunch here one day. We split the sharing platter of starters and topped it off with the irresistible chocolate lava cake.
The sharing platter consisted of two Cacao Gazpacho Shots, Cacao Gin Cured Mahi-Mahi, Pulled Pork Piton, and Sweet Plantain Strips. The pulled pork was our favorite.
They also give you bread with three accompaniments: a chocolate sauce, chocolate butter, and an herby thing like a pesto or chimichurri. All were divine.
The lava cake was as decadently wonderful as you’d expect. The best. Along with that, they brought us another chocolate dipping sauce to try, and two chocolate-mint truffles. I’m not a mint person but my son is and said they were incredible.
We loved the view, and the airy, modern vibe. Each table has a space cut out in it for a bottle of water. A very thoughtful touch. If we had been there longer, we would’ve come back to explore more of the offerings.
Just to clarify, when we were getting ready for our trip to Ladera, I read all these reviews that made it sound like Boucan is right across the street from Ladera. In theory it is. The grounds of the Ribot Plantation are right across from Ladera, and even Boucan is right across from Ladera, but it is not a direct path, if that makes sense. Due to topography and other things, you have to cross the road, walk down said road a bit, and then sort of double-back along another path a bit to get to Boucan. There is actually another restaurant right when you get to their entrance, I guess on the edge of their property, that we mistakenly thought that was Boucan when we were looking for it.
I had booked a dinner reservartion for my significant's other birthday. I didn't specify the occassion before hand as he dislikes the attention (being sang happy birthday to). We had dined at many other restaurants before and decided to give Boucan a go. The dinner menu was very limited and posed a bit of a difficulty in deciding what we wanted. Although it was very much different from other restaurants we found that it was "okay". We had a lovely waitress and she attended to all our needs. Despite not stating the occassion before hand Neisser was very kind and gave him a birthday plater which he reallt enjoyed ! Generally, we came to the conclusion that every place caters to a different type of client and overall the experience was okay. The staff are amazing and lovely ! The setting and ambiance was calming. However, we're both foodies and felt like that was lacking a bit...not in taste but in variety.