Wake up to majestic views of the Pitons, indulge in Caribbean luxury from a dedicated, handpicked staff, with a touch of cacao at every turn! Who says you can’t have your chocolate and eat it too?
Set amidst Saint Lucia’s oldest cocoa plantation, Rabot Estate, a stay at Boucan would not be complete without a tree to bar chocolate experience. Walk through the cocoa groves with an experienced guide learning about the various types of cocoa where you can plant your own tree, see the fermenting and sun-drying station and finally make your own chocolate bar (trust us – the elbow grease is worth the final result!).
From its famed British chocolatier owners to its sleek milk chocolate décor, this is a hotel is built on chocolate. “You have to be down here to feel it,” explains Guest Relations and Quality Manager Judy Buckley, who along with her husband Phil was instrumental in constructing the five-year old property. “I’ve put my soul into this, but to see people’s live changed – kids of employees can go to school because of the constant salary – is amazing.”
Wake up to chirping birds, views of the pitons, Caribbean Sea and fruit trees galore from a private verandah in one of eight 750 square foot luxe lodges (there are also six smaller lodges). Take extra long in the open-sky twin rainforest shower, or relax in the king size four poster bed.
Want an uber stylish, bespoke wedding? Choose between several nature view locations throughout the 140-acre estate, for ceremonies.
Take a sunset cruise – sip rum cocktails and nibble hors d’oeuvres, try to spot dolphins and whales, all while admiring Pigeon Island, Marigot Bay, and of course the Pitons.
“You name it, we get it,” says local head chef Germaine Mathurin who trained under Jon Bentham and ingeniously infuses cocoa into the dining experience. Sourcing ingredients from local farms, and using every part of the cocoa (including a cacoa nib grinder, placed right beside the salt and pepper on tables), the cocoa cuisine concept here is unique in the Caribbean. Begin with the Cacao Tortellini stuffed with goats cheese, and spinach and order the chocolate genesis for dessert, a delicious and ingenious story of chocolate from bean to bar on a plate. ”I love working with chocolate. I love getting up and coming to work. I sleep work, I dream about work – it’s a blessing,” exclaims Mathurin.
The plethora of beneficial antioxidant properties found in cocoa are infused into treatments at Cocoa Juvenate Spa. Take an indulgent massage, where therapists use cocoa oils (we loved the cacao-peppermint) or a cocoa facial.
This original article first appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.