by Charlotte Johnstone, The Telegraph, June 15, 2018
To celebrate World Chocolate Day we've rounded up some of the best hotels for chocolate lovers and the most deliciously chocolaty experiences on offer, including lavishly-gooey body treatments, truffle-making classes, cocoa-inspired cusine, chocolate-themed afternoon teas, ridiculously expensive desserts and the home of the Pudding Club and the Original Sacher-Torte. Go on, treat yourself.
Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, Soufrière, Saint Lucia
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of hotels and chocolate is undeniably Hotel Chocolat. Boucan by Hotel Chocolat sits right in the heart of the Rabot Estate in Saint Lucia, surrounded by cocoa groves and lush countryside. Pretty much every dish in the restaurant contains cocoa in one form or another, the Cocoa Juvenate Spa offers treatments such as the Cacao Body Exfoliate & Moisturise package and there’s a huge array of experiences for guests including chocolate-making classes and tours around the estate which culminate in creating your own chocolate bar, from tree to table.
Read the full review: Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, Saint Lucia
Hotel Sacher Wien, Vienna, Austria
Hotel Sacher Wien is home of the Original Sacher-Torte. This is a must-visit for any discerning chocolate lover, being one of the most popular cakes in the world. It's still made according to its original recipe by Franz Sacher in 1832. Hotel interiors are as rich as the cake itself: the place is full of memorabilia, period antiques and superb original art works – some might find it almost museum-like. There is a huge amount of history and many a famous visitor has crossed the threshold, from Queen Elizabeth II to John F Kennedy. And don’t miss out on the cake for breakfast, available in Café Sacher or Sacher Stube next door.
Read the full review: Hotel Sacher Wien, Vienna Austria
Jade Mountain, Soufrière, Saint Lucia
With its very own Chocolate Laboratory, guests staying at Jade Mountain have been able to participate in a variety of regular chocolate-infused activities like sensory tastings, estate trips and truffle-making classes. If you're interested in the processes and history of chocolate in the Caribbean, the two-hour 'tree to bar' tour of the Emerald Estate walks you through the whole cycle, with a bit of raw cacao-tasting and cocoa tea refreshments along the way. Back at base, chocolate-inspired dishes, chocolate cocktails and cocoa-based body treatments abound in the resort's restaurants, bars and spa.
Read the full review: Jade Mountain, Soufrière, Saint Lucia
Mirihi Island Resort, Maldives
Rum and chocolate-tasting on the beach? Yes please. Mirihi Island Resort has the largest collection of rum on the island, and now offers guests the chance to sit back on a sunken bean bag and enjoy award-winning spirits with pairings of homemade chocolates. All enjoyed to the flicker of lit candles and gentle whooshing of lapping waves. From £56 per person.
Read the full review: Mirihi Island Resort, Maldives
Nihi Sumba, Indonesia
Nihi Sumba, a remote five-star resort in the Indonesian archipelago, has its own little chocolate factory. Everyday, a tour of the factory takes place between 10am and 4pm, and guests can try their hand a chocolatiering from 12pm-3pm. Furthermore, this is a haven for children (and parents, who can palm them off for a few hours while they relax by the pool, guilt-free), manned by childminders and 'Chocolate Wizards' who come armed with an array of fun activities. Cocoa-themed spa treatments can also be arranged here.
Read the full review: Nihi Sumba, Indonesia
Three Ways House, Cotswolds
This is the home of the renowned Pudding Club – a Friday-night celebration of British desserts which has been running for over 30 years. They also run chocolate lunches with demonstrations by their chefs, as well as overnight chocolate indulgence breaks from £145 each. The Three Ways House hotel has seven suites that flamboyantly sport a dessert-themed décor, such as the Summer Pudding room with murals of a summer meadow, and the hugely popular Chocolate room with a bed decked out like a chocolate box. Talk about passion for puddings...
Read the full review: Three Ways House, Cotswolds
The Fortress Resort & Spa, Galle, Sri Lanka
This hotel offers one of the most expensive desserts in the world. It's located before a slim beach beyond which perch Sri Lanka's iconic stilt fishermen – which is what inspired the dish. The fruity concoction of gold leaf cassata, Dom Perignon sabayon and Irish cream presented with a stilt fisherman made from homemade chocolate will set you back an eye-watering £11,200 ($14,500), and it comes with an 80-carat aquamarine stone. Other delectable indulgences include a chocolate body wrap treatment in the spa.
Read the full review: The Fortress Resort & Spa, Galle, Sri Lanka
Rosas & Xocolate, Yucatan, Mexico
The name of this Mayan-inspired hotel in Mexico is a story in itself. Rosas, in honour of the owner's mother and Xocolate because of the town's history and cocoa roots. The beautifully pink hotel has a chocolate shop and offers treatments such as the three-step Rosas & Xocolate experience: body exfoliation with homemade gourmet mix of cocoa salts, dehydrated rose petals, oils, powdered spices of your selection and a touch of local liquor; a hot Xocolate body wrap, prepared with a mix of natural organic chocolate good enough to eat; and a relaxing massage with some of their customised moisturising oils. Delicious in every way.
Chocolate Boutique Hotel, Bournemouth
The story of the Chocolate Boutique hotel in Bournemouth started in 2004, when the Wilton family set up a chocolate business after seeing a cascading chocolate fountain for the first time. A couple of years later, they bought a beautiful 19th-century Grade II-listed hotel and renovated it to become a chocolate-themed hotel. Come here to sip cocoa-based cocktails, dip strawberries and marshmallows into chocolate fondue fountains and experience a chocolate workshop, where you can learn how to make chocolate truffles, the art of chocolate portrait painting, attend bean to bar workshops and even chocolate and wine pairing sessions.
Hotel Fabrica do Chocolate, Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Even some of the walls at this hotel look like they are made out of chocolate. 'Chocotherapy' treatments in the spa involve massages, facials, exfoliation and wraps designed to treat your body through the nourishing properties of cacao, and guests can dine under choc-vanguard Chef Pedro Araújo who helms the hotel's restaurant. Expect dishes like pumpkin velouté infused with soy sauce and cocoa, and salmon with chocolate balsamic reduction. Chocolate-making classes are a hit with the children, and the hotel has its own actual chocolate museum.