|Cocoa Pods Luxe are the best rooms at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat.|
Hearts aren’t the only thing that can melt at the rustically luxurious boutique hotel, Boucan by Hotel Chocolat in St. Lucia, where memories—and a whole lot of chocolate—are made.
Angus Thirlwell, co-founder and CEO of the boutique hotel/restaurant, recently graced the offices of Luxury Travel Advisor to give us the skinny on his unique hotel that unites barefoot luxury with an undeniable sweet tooth.
Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, commonly referred to as Hotel Chocolat, opened in 2011 and is a luxury boutique resort set at The Rabot Estate, a working cocoa estate. The Skinny: It has 14 luxury Cocoa Pods and Cocoa Pods Luxe, Club Boucan with an infinity pool, the cocoa-inspired Boucan Restaurant, and Cocoa Juvenate Spa with its exclusive range of wellness therapies. Cocoa Pods are a cozy 450 square feet while the Cocoa Pods Luxe are a bit roomier at 750 square feet. Note: Have clients who want an amazing birthday bash? Property buyouts are available and include private use of the resort’s spa. Contact Serena Fidgett ([email protected]; 011-0044-176-325-7766) of special projects department for information.
The Rabot Estate is St. Lucia’s oldest cocoa estate and was first established around 1745. It was bought five years ago by two UK-based entrepreneurs, Thirlwell and Peter Harris, the original founders of Hotel Chocolat. Since then, the pair has worked tirelessly to restore St. Lucia’s once thriving cocoa industry, which was reeling at the time of the sale.
|Guests at Boucan can soak in the views of the Pitons while indulging in cocoa-influenced dishes.|
The best rooms here are any of the eight Luxe Lodges, all set in an elevated position. The best feature of these 750-square-foot rooms is the private verandah with views of the Pitons and the Caribbean Sea. It also includes a double daybed for those looking to take an outdoor power nap surrounded by St. Lucia’s national treasures. Nice Touch: Each Luxe Lodge includes an open-air, twin rain forest shower.
Hotel Chocolat’s intimate two-treatment room spa, Cocoa Juvenate, is home to several unique treatments that use cocoa. Hint: Try the Cacao Detox Body Wrap. For this treatment, finely ground estate-grown cocoa beans are used. Masseuses finish off your experience with a light hydrating massage with silky whipped cacao mousse. Luxury travel advisors should contact Head of Customer Relations Judy Buckley ([email protected]; 758-724-6182).
Hint: Inquire about the Tree to Bar experience, where hotel guests graft and plant their own cocoa tree. And upon their next trip, when the bean has fully transformed into a delectable dark chocolate bar, they can taste the fruits of their labor. Other activities the resort can arrange include stargazing with rum-spiked hot chocolate from the resort’s cocoa estate and vintage rum and whisky pairings with chocolate, also from estate.
The hotel’s Boucan Restaurant, serving mostly cocoa-influenced dishes, is open to both guests and locals. The menu uses cocoa sometimes as a light and subtle spice and sometimes as a delicate infusion. Hint: The CEO’s favorite dish is the cacao butter-roasted seasonal fish. Note: Private dinners can be arranged here. Advisors should reach out to Hotel Manager Chester Francois for details ([email protected]; 758 724 6182).
Also be sure to check out Club Boucan, a 2,500-square-foot area reserved exclusively for hotel guests, complete with a 50-foot black quartz infinity pool and views of the Pitons. Reclining sun loungers line the pool and there’s plenty of shade available too. Nice Touch: Your dedicated club steward is on hand to serve drinks, snacks and lunch direct to your lounger. Note: Private dinners can also be arranged here.
Hotel Chocolat is roughly 40 minutes from the Hewanorra International Airport. Note: The resort provides VIP transfers to and from the hotel and a meet-and-greet when guests arrive. For those looking to spend the holidays at Hotel Chocolat, advisors should book roughly four to six months in advance.
Word on the Street: Hotel Chocolat has been open for roughly a year, but Thirlwell told us that other islands have already expressed interest in bringing the cocoa-themed luxury boutique to their destinations. Several islands, including St. Vincent, Jamaica, Dominica and Grenada, had already reached out to him about expanding.
But if that’s not enough to entice you to visit, we came across scores of positive reviews on TripAdvisor that include such gleaming comments as “I want to live here” and, of course, “Wonderful boutique hotel—particularly if you love chocolate.”