By Alexander Britell
It’s the late evening and Saint Lucia is awake.
This is the sound of the island at night, the shake of trees and the call of birds and the calming hum of the natural world.
It’s not often you get the chance to stay in the heart of a rainforest, in the core of a cacao plantation, your cottage hugged by fruit trees.
But Saint Lucia’s Fond Doux plantation is no ordinary place to stay.
This is a full-fledged eco-hotel, a tiny colonial-style boutique property set on a working 250-year-old plantation.
This is Saint Lucia as it once was, as it still is, hand crafted and home made.
There are 15 cottages tucked across the 134-acre plantation, ranging from one-bedroom secluded retreats to a two-bedroom standalone cottage to our favorite, the one-bedroom cottages with its own private plunge pool.
The food is local and authentic at the on-site Bamboo and Cocoa Pod restaurants, true Creole cooking with real ingredients. There’s a spa, too, the Mama La Terre, with unique treatments like flight relief massages and even hot spring journeys.
It is a place for finding oneness with the natural world, for hiking, for breathing the kind of air you can’t find anywhere else, for enjoying the colors of Saint Lucia’s wild side.
But you can’t stay here without immersing yourself in the culture of cacao, eating, drinking (in cocoa tea) and even making it, experiencing every step of the process from cocoa harvesting to drying to grinding to the finished product.
Its all thanks to the painstaking work of Saint Lucian hoteliers Eroline and Lyton Lamontagne, who have turned this family-run resort into one of the Caribbean’s most unique destinations.
For more information, visit Fond Doux.