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
It was our first time in St. Lucia. We booked our stay in Boucan Hotel in Lodge room. As we didn't want to waste time on looking for transport from the airport to the hotel, we asked Boucan to arrange it for us (80 dollars). The driver was waiting for us at the airport and welcomed us with cold drinks and refreshing towels. After approx. 40 min drive we arrived to the hotel. We've been welcomed by really friendly staff members and complimentary drinks. Below you'll find feedback on specific topic:
Room: we stayed in Lodge Room for 6 days. Room was cleaned twice a day, it was clean and spacious. There were some gaps between planks in the floor so mind your change money and small items.Gaps were also between walls and roof so you may notice birds in your room - especially if you leave food unattended. At night it might be hard to get asleep (due to nocturnal animals) - earplugs are provided. Open sky shower is amazing - especially when the sky is clear so you can see the stars while taking shower! Bed was very comfortable.
Repellant for mosquitoes was provided but we didn't notice that many insects.
Food: Breakfast were included in the price of the room. Forget about drinking tea or coffee as you can drink hot chocolate! Really refreshing and tasty. Personally, I really enjoyed oatmeal porridge with local honey. Breakfasts were satisfying so you won't leave the restaurant hungry.
Next to the pool there are some free snacks served 11-6pm (cookies, crisps, etc.). There's also honesty bar so you can buy some soft drinks. Hotel guests have got 5% discount on food. We ate dinners at the restaurant - fab food, really nice appetisers. Portions don't look big but they're very fulfilling. Even if you're a hotel guest, I'd need to book a table if you want to eat dinner in the restaurant as it's usually busy. Staff as always great.
Pool: Infinity pool with fab view on Piton. There are always free sun beds. Quiet place for enjoying the view and Kodak moments. Water in the pool is rather cold.
Experiences: The hotel offers variety of free, self guided walks and paid experiences. Sometimes in the morning there's a guided walk across Rabot Estate plantation. Beach shuttle runs every day.
No recommended for wheelchair users (accommodation and restaurant). Children are not allowed in the hotel.
Close to Soufriere and Sulphur Springs.
My husband and I visited this hotel for the tree to bean and bean to bar experience. I can not review the hotel itself but grounds and restaurant were gorgeous. The tours were fun and informative. You really gain an appreciation for all the work that goes into making chocolate. The activity is hands on and you are able to participate in grafting and naming a cocoa tree that you can check on during return visits. Making our our chocolate bar by hand was so fun! The end product was delicious! The tour guides were friendly and very knowledgeable. This is a do not miss activity if you are in St. Lucia and you love chocolate.
We loved Boucan when we spent two weeks here in May 2016 and on our return in November 2018 it was as perfect as ever. We were nervous that it might have lost its touch or wonderful atmosphere, but our fears were soon assuaged. Many of the lovely staff are the same as before, and we felt warmly welcomed. The same beautiful setting, accommodation and communal areas remained, with the same cool atmosphere of a chic members' club, but small changes had enhanced it, from complimentary, delicious bar snacks, to an updated playlist and even more fantastic restaurant menu. I could say much more but all that needs to be said is, if you can afford it, book it. You won't regret or forget it.
Every hotel in St Lucia was on the list to host our wedding and Hotel Chocolat was the best we found. Other considerations included Ladera, Jade, Viceroy, Fond Doux, and others in the Gros Islet area. The rooms, service, food, grounds, and attention to craft drinks were perfect for our guests who were coming from NYC, LA, London and the Philippines. We wanted our wedding to be a new and different experience and the staff (including owner Judy and First Mate, Lorna) at HC delivered.
Judy and Lorna both worked with us to arrange all the details of our guests' stay and took on the duties of wedding planning as well. Each guest was picked up at the airport by HC's luxury shuttle, which we also hired to drop the overflow guests at the Fond Doux Hotel. HC's van wasn't the only transportation service of theirs we used.
The wedding attendees spent a day in Gros Islet, using HC's boat as a picturesque alternative to the bus ride. This was one of the highlights of the trip.
The views from the grounds and rooms are stunning; just stunning. You are immersed in nature and wildlife - but with amenities :-) The jungle is alive like you've never seen. ...or should I say, "heard?" The frogs, crickets, and birds are in full concert.
Then there's the food. A friend who Sous Chef'd at the Ritz in college still talks about the Scotch egg that was served for breakfast; the best he's had. Don't pass up the gazpacho when it's hot out. You also need to try one of their drinks that are made with cacao from the on-site plantation.
On Sunday, most of the family checked out of the hotel so we were able to experience what it's like to share the hotel with other guests. The space is large enough and the rooms are sparse enough that you get to share the experience with others if you choose, or with just your significant other if that's the goal. This place is very romantic, quiet, serene and meditative. You don't even need to do anything; just being there is enough. If you are booking for multiple days, there's the hot springs that are next door. Another day you can have dinner at Ladera, which is across the street. The HC van will also take you down to Sugar Beach for a morning, or like us, you can book a day on their boat.
This vibe of this hotel in the jungle is due to Judy and her staff. Judy's caring, kind (and dare I say), gregarious personality emanates through her staff. We're so glad we chose St Lucia and Hotel Chocolat for our wedding. It's my favorite wedding I've been to :-)
We had a Banana and Chocolate daiquiri whole waiting for our chocolate bar. The drink was great and view of the Pitons even better! I highly recommend if you have time to stop by this beautiful facility!